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CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Monday celebrated the anniversary of his disputed re-election amid a growing humanitarian crisis and political upheaval.
Maduro tweeted that the May 20, 2018, election, was a "victory" for Venezuelans, though the opposition and many countries have derided it as unfair.
The government staged a rally on the anniversary, and members of a loyalist assembly delivered speeches.
The assembly rivals the opposition-controlled congress, headed by Juan Guaidó, that says Maduro has steered Venezuela toward authoritarian rule and ruined the economy.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Venezuela in a bid to unseat Maduro, compounding the problems of the country's deteriorating oil industry. Maduro says Guaidó is a pawn in a U.S. coup plot.
Maduro's re-election to a second six-year term lies at the heart of Venezuela's political standoff, in which Guaidó has sought unsuccessfully to get the military command to support him. The opposition leader's failed call for a military uprising on April 30 was followed by deadly clashes between police and protesters.
Ahead of Maduro's 2018 re-election, the main opposition coalition refused to field a candidate, saying there was no possibility of a fair vote. The government had previously stacked the electoral council and judiciary with its supporters, and the opposition's most combative leaders were banned from participating, imprisoned or in exile.