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'Bolsonaro is Hitler!' Venezuela's Maduro exclaims amid Brazil spat

'Bolsonaro is Hitler!' Venezuela's Maduro exclaims amid Brazil spat
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a special session of the National Constituent Assembly to present his annual state of the nation in Caracas, Venezuela January 14, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS   -   Copyright  HANDOUT(Reuters)
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CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday called Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro a modern Adolf Hitler, days after Brasilia officially recognised an opposition leader as the legitimate head of the increasingly isolated country.

Brazil on Saturday said it recognised Juan Guaido, head of Venezuela’s opposition-run Congress, as legitimate president after Maduro was sworn in to a second term that countries around the world described as illegitimate.

“Over there we’ve got Brazil in the hands of a fascist – Bolsonaro is a Hitler of the modern era!” Maduro said during a state of the nation speech.

“Let’s leave the task of Bolsonaro to the wonderful people of Brazil, who will fight and take care of him.”

Requests for comments were not immediately answered by Bolsonaro’s office or the foreign ministry.

Guaido on Friday had said he was willing to assume the presidency after opposition leaders said Maduro’s second term was illegitimate because the broadly boycotted 2018 elections were rigged in his favour.

Guaido, who was briefly detained by intelligence agents on his way to a political rally on Sunday, has not declared himself president.

Brazil and Venezuela maintained cordial relations for over a decade thanks to friendly ties between Brazil’s Workers Party and Venezuela’s Socialist Party.

Bolsonaro, a fervent anti-communist who has praised his country’s 1964-85 military dictatorship, has promised to target Venezuela.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Caracas and Anthony Boadle in Brasilia; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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