Sen. Bernie Sanders, who recently announced that he will run for U.S. president in 2020, has confirmed that he does not recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president and called for new elections in the crisis-torn country.
In response to a question on the legitimate leader of Venezuela, Sanders said: "No. I think what has to happen right now – I think there are serious questions about the recent election. There are many people who feel it was a fraudulent election and I think the U.S. has got to work with the international community to make sure that there is a free and fair election in Venezuela."
Sputnik International reported that Sanders also urged the U.S. to not use "military force and intervene again as it has done in the past in Latin America… whether it was Chile or Brazil or the Dominican Republic or Guatemala."
Sen. Sanders has been an unsparing critic of President Donald Trump and in his email, he called him "the most dangerous president in modern American history."
The Trump administration was the first to recognize Guaido as acting president. As tensions between Washington and Caracas have risen sharply, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused the U.S. of plotting an invasion. He accused U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton of overseeing a plot to replace him with a dictator. He alleged that Washington is using "dirty dollars, bled from the U.S. empire" to train 734 mercenaries in neighboring Colombia to carry out the plot. U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed earlier this month that a military intervention in Venezuela was "an option."
The Venezuelan leader began a second six-year term on Jan. 10, having won elections in May that were boycotted by the opposition and rejected by 12 Latin American nations, including Colombia and Brazil. Amid the U.S. campaign to overthrow Venezuela's democratically elected government, Guaido, the president of the National Assembly, declared himself interim president on Jan. 23.