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EU, UN to Monitor Venezuela’s Parliamentary Elections

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 The Venezuelan government, led by embattled President Nicolas Maduro, has again invited the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) to be international monitors in the country’s December elections, which many see as controversial.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza posted a letter on Twitter on Thursday that he said was sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

He said the letter described comprehensive guarantees for the parliamentary election.

The EU was reserved in its response to a previous invitation a few weeks earlier, saying the conditions for a transparent electoral process had not been met.

Maduro pardoned more than 100 political opponents on Monday, including people who are in prison, others who have gone into exile, and some who had been barred from contesting elections.

The government said it wanted to encourage opposition participation in the elections, in which more than 20 opposition parties had pledged to boycott.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido has slammed the upcoming vote as a “farce.”

Dozens of countries have recognized Guaido as the oil-rich country’s interim president, but he has been unable to oust Maduro, who has presided over a massive economic crisis.

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