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Uruguayan president-elect Luis Lacalle Pou said in an interview today that he was “not interest” in having Maduro attend his swearing-in ceremony in Montevideo, which is scheduled to take place on March 1. Calling Maduro a “dictator”, Lacalle said that the decision to keep the Venezuelan leader out of the ceremony was a personal one.

During the same interview, which was conducted by Radio Universal, Lacalle said that he would also not invite some of the region’s other authoritarian leaders, namely Cuba’s Diaz-Canel and Nicaragua’s Ortega. At the same time, the incoming president of Uruguay stressed that this personal stance should not mean a disruption in ties between countries. On the contrary, he said:

Uruguay maintains diplomatic and commercial relations with many countries and states. This doesn’t mean that [we] invite or not invite certain leaders. The one thing takes nothing away from the other. Having commercial relations with a country is different from judging that human rights violations are being committed, as in some countries like Venezuela.

Lacalle’s arrival to the presidency marks a shift in Uruguay’s stance towards the Maduro regime. The outgoing president, Tabare Vasquez, was generally lukewarm on Maduro, although his position became increasingly untenable as his presidency progressed and the Maduro regime grew more authoritarian.

Regime Claims 100,000 Militia Joined PSUV Over Weekend

Dario Vivas, the vice president of the ruling PSUV party’s mobilizations and events wing, said today that 100,000 militia members formally joined the party over the weekend. Vivas said that 57,739 members of the Milicia Nacional Bolivariana got their PSUV cards on Friday, while another 67,857 did on Saturday.


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