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27 Apr, 2019 10:02

‘Vulgar maneuver’: Maduro slams Abrams for trying to co-opt legacy of Hugo Chavez

‘Vulgar maneuver’: Maduro slams Abrams for trying to co-opt legacy of Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has lashed out at comments made by US special envoy Elliot Abrams, who boldly suggested regime change in Caracas would help to preserve the socialist, left-wing politics of Hugo Chavez.

In a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington, Abrams claimed that supporters of the late Venezuelan leader were “watching the Maduro regime destroy [Chavez’s] legacy,” and called on Chavistas to embrace US-backed efforts to install opposition leader Juan Guaido as the head of government.

The remarks didn’t sit well with Maduro, who mocked Abrams for lecturing Venezuelans about how to best honor Chavez’s political vision.

“Elliott Abrams now pretends to be the defender of Chavez’s legacy. Is it credible? Why do you now pretend to say that Chavez was very good and Maduro is very bad? Where’s that message going? What’s the point? It’s a vulgar maneuver,” he said in an address.

In a tweet posted on his official Twitter account, Maduro expressed amazement at how the “US empire” was now attempting to “assume itself as defender of Chavez’s legacy.”

Chavez, Maduro noted, was an “anti-imperialist.” The charismatic but polarizing Venezuelan leader died in 2013. He famously survived a coup attempt in 2002 which many claim was orchestrated at least in part by the United States – although Washington has denied any involvement.

Abrams has unusual credentials for someone theorizing about how to preserve Chavez’s legacy. The long-time neo-conservative spearheaded the Reagan administration’s covert war against the socialist Sandinistas in Nicaragua. His activities included shipping weapons to US-backed, right-wing Contra militants under the guise of “humanitarian aid.”

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Washington has been openly pushing for regime change in Venezuela since Guaido declared himself interim president in January.

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