CARACAS, Venezuela – The latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):
Officials in Venezuela have set a date for the presidential election amid wide criticism that the early ballot won’t be fair.
The National Electoral Council announced Wednesday that the election will be held April 22.
The United States and countries in Europe and Latin America have condemned a rush to hold the presidential vote, which traditionally has been held late in the year.
The announcement comes hours after a breakdown in negotiations between Venezuela’s ruling socialist party and opposition politicians.
President Nicolas Maduro has already launched his campaign for a second term and stands as the only candidate. Venezuela’s fractured opposition coalition has not selected a candidate or decided if it will boycott the election.
Oil-rich Venezuela has been sliding deeper into crisis with soaring inflation and shortages of basic goods like cooking oil and baking flower.
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