Peronist presidential candidate Alberto Fernandez has doubled down on his stance towards Venezuela, saying in a Sunday night interview that “In Venezuela, there is not a dictatorship but an authoritarian government.”
“Dictatorships have an anti-democratic origin, this is not the case in Venezuela,” Fernandez said in an interview with television journalist Luis Majul. “It’s difficult to classify a chosen government as a dictatorship, a chosen government can become an authoritarian government. The institutions function there.”
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, who was elected in a slimly won election in 2013, was re-elected again in 2018 amidst widespread accusations of fraud in an election boycotted by the country’s opposition. The Lima Group, a coalition of 14 Latin American countries and Canada, refused to recognise the legitimacy of 2018’s vote.
“What is not the solution is to run after (US President Donald) Trump, promoting the embargo,” the Kirchnerite presidential candidate added, referring to the total freezing of Venezuelan government assets by the United States earlier this month.
Anti-Maduro activists and Venezuelans took to social media on Monday afternoon to express outrage at Fernandez’s statements, using the hashtag #SrAlbertoLeCuentoQue (I tell Mr. Alberto that). The hashtag hopes to demonstrate how Maduro's government is indeed a dictatorship and draw attention to its human rights abuses.