Trump 'won't be worse than Obama,' says Venezuela's president

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CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's socialist leader said on Monday that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was the victim of a global "hate campaign" and could not be worse than outgoing Barack Obama.

On the campaign trail, the conservative Trump criticized Venezuela's ruling Socialists for oppressing their own people, but Maduro refrained from firing back in his first public comments on the Republican's election win.

"Let's wait and see what happens. Don't let's jump ahead of ourselves. I want to be prudent," he told a news conference.

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Venezuela's cash shortage causes destruction
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Venezuela's cash shortage causes destruction
Workers repair damages in a store after it was looted, in La Fria, Venezuela, December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
An employee of a looted local supermarket inspects the damages the business suffered in La Fria, Tachira state, Venezuela on December 19, 2016. A jet load of new currency finally arrived in Venezuela on December 18 after its delayed arrival sparked protests and looting that jolted President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular government. / AFP / GEORGE CASTELLANOS (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)
People clash with Venezuelan National Guards as they try to cross the border to Colombia over the Francisco de Paula Santander international bridge in Urena, Venezuela December 18, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez 
A police officer takes pictures of the damages in front of a supermarket after it was looted, in La Fria, Venezuela, December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
People carry goods taken from a food wholesaler after it was broken into, in La Fria, Venezuela December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
A worker looks for valuables among the damaged goods in a store after it was looted, in La Fria, Venezuela, December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
People carry goods taken from a food wholesaler after it was broken into, in La Fria, Venezuela December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
People carry goods taken from a food wholesaler after it was broken into, in La Fria, Venezuela December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
People carry goods taken from a food wholesaler after it was broken into, in La Fria, Venezuela December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
People queue to deposit their 100 bolivar notes, near Venezuela's Central Bank in Caracas, Venezuela December 16, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Bello
People carry goods taken from a supermarket after it was broken into, in La Fria, Venezuela December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
People clash with Venezuelan National Guards as they try to cross the border to Colombia over the Francisco de Paula Santander international bridge in Urena, Venezuela December 18, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Eduardo Ramirez
An employee of a looted local supermarket inspects the damages the business suffered in La Fria, Tachira state, Venezuela on December 19, 2016. A jet load of new currency finally arrived in Venezuela on December 18 after its delayed arrival sparked protests and looting that jolted President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular government. / AFP / GEORGE CASTELLANOS (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)
Men make repairs at a looted store in La Fria, Tachira state, Venezuela on December 19, 2016. A jet load of new currency finally arrived in Venezuela on December 18 after its delayed arrival sparked protests and looting that jolted President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular government. / AFP / GEORGE CASTELLANOS (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)
View of a market after being burnt during looting in Ciudad Bolivar, Bolivar state, Venezuela, on December 19, 2016. A jet load of new currency finally arrived in Venezuela on December 18 after its delayed arrival sparked protests and looting that jolted President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular government. / AFP / MANAURE QUINTERO (Photo credit should read MANAURE QUINTERO/AFP/Getty Images)
Men make repairs at a looted store in La Fria, Tachira state, Venezuela on December 19, 2016. A jet load of new currency finally arrived in Venezuela on December 18 after its delayed arrival sparked protests and looting that jolted President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular government. / AFP / GEORGE CASTELLANOS (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)
An employee of a looted local supermarket inspects the damages the business suffered in La Fria, Tachira state, Venezuela on December 19, 2016. A jet load of new currency finally arrived in Venezuela on December 18 after its delayed arrival sparked protests and looting that jolted President Nicolas Maduro's unpopular government. / AFP / GEORGE CASTELLANOS (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)
People confront Bolivarian National Guard member whilst attempting to cross the Francisco de Paula Santander international bridge, linking Urena, in Venezuela and Cucuta, in Colombia, despite the border closing order issued by the Venezuelan government, on December 18, 2016. President Nicolas Maduro delayed until January 2 taking Venezuela's highest denomination bill out of circulation but the borders with Colombia and Brazil will remain closed to hit what he claims are 'mafias' hoarding Venezuelan cash abroad in a US-backed plot to destabilize the country. In Tachira, the crackdown caused added misery for people who rely on cross-border trade. / AFP / George Castellanos (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)
Bolivarian national Guard members stand guard at the Francisco de Paula Santander international bridge, linking Urena, in Venezuela and Cucuta, in Colombia, whilst people attempt to cross despite the border closing order issued by the Venezuelan government, on December 18, 2016. President Nicolas Maduro delayed until January 2 taking Venezuela's highest denomination bill out of circulation but the borders with Colombia and Brazil will remain closed to hit what he claims are 'mafias' hoarding Venezuelan cash abroad in a US-backed plot to destabilize the country. In Tachira, the crackdown caused added misery for people who rely on cross-border trade. / AFP / George Castellanos (Photo credit should read GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)
LA FRIA, VENEZUELA - DECEMBER 17 : People carry cans of food and bottles of drinks as they loot a food warehouse during a protest in La Fria, Tachira, Venezuela, on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016. (Photo by Carlos Becerra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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"He won't be worse than Obama, that's all I dare say. Obama has left the world plagued by terrorism. In Latin America, he will be remembered for three coups."

Venezuela's government initially welcomed Obama's presidency but later soured on him, criticizing his "imperialist" foreign policy and accusing Washington of meddling to change governments in Brazil, Honduras and Paraguay.

"International media have speculated about Donald Trump," Maduro continued in brief comments about him.

"We are surprised at the brutal hate campaign against Donald Trump in the whole world, in the western world."

(Reporting by Corina Pons and Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)


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