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Venezuelan lawmaker dares Bernie Sanders to visit the socialist nation without bodyguards


'It's a dictatorship. There's no power separation.'

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A Venezuelan assemblyman, currently in exile from socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro's regime, has issued a challenge to presidential candidate and democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — daring the senator to take a week strolling through the streets of Venezuela without bodyguards and report back what he sees.

What are the details?

Video journalist Nicholas Ballasy approached Venezuelan assemblyman Jose Guerra on Tuesday, and asked the lawmaker what message he has for American politicians such as Sanders "who do not label Maduro a dictator."

"Maybe they misunderstand what is going on in Venezuela," Guerra replied. "It's a dictatorship. There's no power separation. There's more than 400 political prisoners. They are persecuted, like me. And it's a new dictatorship, but it's a dictatorship, in fact."

Ballasy went on to tell Guerra that activist Jesse Jackson has actually come to the defense of Maduro, and added that both Jackson and Sanders appear reluctant to speak publicly about what is going on in the socialist country.

"I don't know that Jesse Jackson and Bernie Sanders know in a very good way what is going on in Venezuela," Guerra said. "I suggest Bernie Sanders take a week and go to Venezuela without bodyguards, and go [take] to the street [with his] cellphone to [see] what's going on."

Venezuelan Assemblyman: I Suggest Bernie Sanders 'Go to Venezuela Without Bodyguards' for a Weekyoutu.be

Anything else?

Fox News pointed out that Sanders refused to label Maduro a dictator during a CNN town hall in February. In September, the senator from Vermont conceded during the third Democratic presidential debate that "anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant," CBS News reported.

Sanders has taken offense when critics compare his democratic socialist ideals with the policies set forth by Maduro — who has driven his country to financial ruin, hyperinflation and famine.

During the September debate, Sanders told Univision's Jorge Ramos (who was detained by the Venezuelan government earlier in the year): "To equate what goes on in Venezuela to what I believe is extremely unfair."

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