Saturday 17 March 2018

Venezuelan opposition leader challenges football legend Diego Maradona over Maduro support

Diego Maradona with girlfriend Rocio Oliva. (AP/Darko Bandic)
Diego Maradona with girlfriend Rocio Oliva. (AP/Darko Bandic) Newsdesk Newsdesk

A prominent Venezuelan opposition leader has taken issue with football great Diego Maradona's defence of President Nicolas Maduro's embattled government.

Henrique Capriles offered in an interview with Argentina's Radio Mitre to "personally" pick Maradona up at the airport and take him to meet "the common man" in Venezuela, which is suffering from shortages, spiralling inflation and sky-high homicide rates.

But in a dig at the retired Argentine star's lavish lifestyle, former presidential candidate Mr Capriles said he would surely prefer the comforts of a five-star hotel and the presidential palace.

Maradona is currently coach of United Arab Emirates football club Al-Fujairah.

He was a staunch backer and friend of now-deceased presidents Hugo Chavez, of Venezuela, and Fidel Castro, of Cuba.

On Monday, Maradona made a post on Facebook saying: "We are Chavistas to the death."

He wrote in Spanish that if Mr Maduro were to order it, he would "dress as a soldier for a free Venezuela, to fight imperialism".

Press Association

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