WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is now effectively a dictator after "seizing absolute power" through what Washington said was a sham election of the country's National Constituent Assembly.
"Maduro is not just a bad leader. He is now a dictator," national security adviser H.R. McMaster told a news briefing. "Recent actions culminating in yesterday's seizure of absolute power through the sham election of the National Constituent Assembly represent a very serious blow to democracy in our hemisphere." (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe and Matt Spetalnick; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tom Brown)