Latin America

Maduro prepares exhibition in Madrid to showcase achievements

Three-day expo will refute “Francoist lies” about Venezuela, president claims

President Nicolás Maduro during an official ceremony Thursday in Caracas.
President Nicolás Maduro during an official ceremony Thursday in Caracas.

Days after issuing a warning to Spanish companies that do business in Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro has announced that he will be putting together a massive three-day exhibition in Madrid next month to showcase the “social achievements” of his government.

In a nationwide address on Saturday, Maduro said Expo Venezuela will be held to “destroy the lies created by the Francoist right” in Spain about his country. The goal is also to refute the “negative campaign” against his government launched by the Spanish media, he said.

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“Let Spaniards see how we have published more than 5,000 different books and handed out nearly 20 million copies a year free of charge,” he said. “How we have built 700,000 homes in just three years and how we plan on awarding another 400,000 homes.”

Last week, Maduro warned Spanish companies doing business in Venezuela that they stand to have their properties expropriated if Spain continues to attack his government and the new Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos, which has been connected to the late President Hugo Chávez’s Bolivarian revolution, according to media reports.

The warning also came after Maduro announced the arrest of several military officers who were planning a coup on the first anniversary of violent protests that took place across the country during nationwide rallies held by the opposition.

Maduro hasn’t said where the expo — scheduled for March 1-3 — will be held or how it will be financed, but he asked his foreign minister, Delcy Rodríguez, to meet with Spanish business officials to help “win their support.”

“We will call together our best singers, and our best actors to show off our great cinema,” he said of the exhibition.

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