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Venezuela’s Maduro gets support from Erdogan, Maradona ahead of vote

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Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and his wife Cilia Flores greet supporters during his closing campaign rally in Caracas, Venezuela May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

CARACAS/BARQUISIMETO, Venezuela (Reuters) – Venezuela’s diplomatically isolated president got a show of support from his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan and Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona on Thursday ahead of a weekend election widely decried as unfair.

The United States, the European Union and major Latin American countries have criticized Sunday’s vote in which leftist President Nicolas Maduro is likely to win re-election to a six-year term.

Critics say Maduro, a 55-year-old former bus driver who has presided over an economic meltdown, is virtually assured victory as two of his most popular opponents are banned from running and the electoral council is pro-government.

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