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Venezuela's Maduro receives samurai sword gift from actor Steven Seagal

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Venezuela's Maduro receives samurai sword gift from actor Steven Seagal
Venezuela's Maduro receives samurai sword gift from actor Steven Seagal   -   Copyright  (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html
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CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro received a samurai sword as a gift from actor Steven Seagal, who was visiting the South American country as a representative of Russia, state television images showed on Tuesday evening.

Maduro, wearing a white facemask and a traditional Venezuelan black long sleeve shirt known as a liqui liqui, positioned the sword over his shoulder as Seagal nodded and pointed in affirmation, the images broadcast from the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas showed.

Seagal, a U.S.-born martial artist, is best known for producing and starring in action movies.

“The Venezuelan head of state maneuvers after drawing the sword,” a state television narrator said, calling the weapon a “symbol of leadership.”

Seagal has long been a public admirer of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a fan of martial arts. In 2016, Putin granted Seagal Russian citizenship and presented him with a passport, and in 2018 Russia tasked him with improving ties between Moscow and Washington.

Maduro is labeled a dictator by the United States and many other western nations, which accuse him of violating human rights and rigging his 2018 re-election. But he has remained in power in part thanks to ongoing support from Russia, which has called on Washington not to meddle in Caracas’ internal affairs.

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in Caracas; Editing by Richard Chang)

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