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US and Venezuela In Spat as Maduro Tries to Keep Power.

US and Venezuela In Spat as Maduro Tries to Keep Power.

Venezuelan and US officials have been trading barbs after Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro said that some opposition parties would be banned from next year’s presidential election.

The US state department said it was “an extreme measure” designed to consolidate President Maduro’s power.

Elected in 2013, Mr. Maduro is expected to run for a second term in 2018.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called the US statement “ridiculous”.

The spat between the two countries, which have been at loggerheads for years, was triggered by the announcement on Sunday by President Maduro.

Speaking after he had cast his vote in municipal elections on Sunday, Mr. Maduro said the parties that had boycotted those polls would be banned from the presidential election next year.

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