23:15 GMT +323 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States considers Venezuelan presidential election, which is taking place on Sunday, illegitimate, Heather Nauert, the spokeswoman for the US Department of State said.

    "#Venezuela's so-called elections today are not legitimate. The United States stands with democratic nations around the world in support of the Venezuelan people and their sovereign right to elect their representatives through free and fair elections," Nauert wrote on her Twitter account.

    Four candidates are running for the presidency in Venezuela: incumbent President Nicolas Maduro, Reinaldo Quijada, who supported Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez but is dissatisfied with the current government, opposition leader Henri Falcon and Evangelical pastor Javier Bertucci. Businessman and preacher Luis Ratti stepped down from the competition earlier this month and announced his support for Falcon.

    READ MORE: Nearly Half of Venezuelans Expected to Vote for Maduro in Election — Poll

    On May 7 Washington announced it would impose sanctions on individuals and companies connected to Maduro, blaming the president for the economic crisis in the Latin American country. In its turn, Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Moscow considers calls to disrupt voting in Venezuela's presidential elections to be "destructive" interference in the affairs of a sovereign state.

    Related:

    Venezuelans to Head to the Polls to Elect New President on Sunday
    Western Media Writing Off Venezuela’s Elections - Unless Their Candidate Wins
    Expert Explains Who Might Help Settle Venezuela Crisis
    Moscow Responds to Assertions About Illegitimacy of Voting in Venezuela
    Tags:
    Presidential Election, Nicolas Maduro, United States, Venezuela
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