Caracas: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro received a show of support from Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona, ahead of the weekend’s controversial elections.
After a speech by Maduro at a campaign rally in the capital Caracas on Thursday, the hero of the 1986 World Cup appeared on stage waving a Venezuelan flag and dancing along to music from a band.
Maradona, who had promised Maduro his support, was a friend of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro and was also a fan of Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez. Maduro had earlier accused his main rival, Henri Falcon, of wanting to hand control of the South American country over to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Do you want to let your country become a colony of the IMF?,” Maduro asked.
Argentina is negotiating an aid package with the international lender.
Maduro is attempting to secure six more years in office in tomorrow’s elections. Opposition groups have called for a boycott of the vote and many countries have said they will not recognise the result.
Despite having the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela suffers from severe inflation and shortages of basic goods prompting millions to leave the country. - dpa/African News Agency (ANA)