CARACAS – North Korea has sent Nicolás Maduro hearty congratulations on his reelection as president of Venezuela earlier this week.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency carried a report today (May 23) saying that high-ranking official Kim Yong Nam sent Maduro a congratulatory message calling the Sunday’s reelection “an expression of the firm will of all the people of Venezuela to advance the Bolivarian revolution to the last and their trust in him.”
It went on, “The message wished the president bigger success in his responsible work for the country’s independent progress and prosperity.”
Maduro runs an increasingly autocratic government that’s been hit by US sanctions, however, so that makes him easy to relate to for Pyongyang.
KCNA ran another piece Thursday saying that U.S. sanctions were “aimed at regime change” and “not confined to Venezuela only.” Of course, North Korea has suffered from U.S. (and U.N.) sanctions designed to pressure it into giving up its nuclear weapons.
On the other hand, the so-called “Lima Group” of Latin American countries plus Canada issued a statement saying it didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the election, while the U.S. imposed fresh sanctions on the Maduro government, with vice president Mike Pence calling the election “a sham – neither free nor fair.”