Alwaght- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro “a Hitler of the modern era,” after the right-wing leader refused to recognize his presidency and openly backed the Venezuelan opposition.
Addressing members of his country’s Constituent Assembly on Monday, Maduro said that Brazil was “in the hands of a fascist," Russia Today reported.
"Bolsonaro is a modern-day Hitler. He is. What he doesn't have is courage and his own decisions because he’s the puppet of a sect,” Maduro said. The Venezuelan leader was referring to evangelical Christians, a section of the electorate in which Bolsonaro, himself a Catholic, commands strong support.
On Saturday, Brazil officially recognized Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela's Congress, as the country’s president after Maduro was sworn in for a second term. Guaido himself had expressed willingness to take over the presidency last week.
Bolsonaro’s rule, ushered in on January 1, has been widely associated with far-right populism. He closely allies the United States, which has been enforcing sanctions against Caracas since 2015, and has dubbed Venezuela “a threat to its national security.” The Brazilian head of state’s alignment with the current US administration has earned him reputation as Brazil’s “own [Donald] Trump” among media outlets.
Maduro and Bolsonaro have not minced words when calling each other names. While Bolsonaro refers to his Venezuelan counterpart as nothing less than “dictator,” Maduro dubbed the right-wing “tropical Trump” a “fascist” when he was being vested with presidential authority before the Supreme Court.
Maduro, however, received support from Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua, whose leaders attended the inauguration ceremony, snubbed by the majority of its neighbors.