Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Special Envoy Steven Seagal Gifts Sword to Venezuela's Maduro

Russia's special envoy for relations with the U.S. took some time to visit Maduro, whose 2018 reelection was deemed fraudulent by Washington. AFP photo / Venezuelan Presidency / Zurimar Campos

Hollywood action star Steven Seagal, known for dropping in on tough guy leaders like Russia's Vladimir Putin, paid a visit to Venezuela's leftist president Nicolas Maduro to give him the gift of a samurai sword.

The hero of 80s and 90s hits including "Hard to Kill" and "Under Siege" appeared in state-run TV footage on Tuesday passing the katana to Maduro, who then sliced the blade through the air several times in an ornate office.

Seagal, dressed all in black and without a face mask, nodded approvingly but appeared to warn Maduro when the leader put his fingers close to the blade.

In the decades since the height of his Hollywood fame, Seagal has been a vocal supporter of Putin and once dropped in on Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte as the southeast Asian nation battled Islamic State group extremists.

Russia granted Seagal citizenship in 2016, which included Putin personally handing over a passport to the actor in a televised meeting.

Maduro, whose 2018 reelection has been deemed fraudulent by the White House, is subject to Western sanctions and labeled a dictator over alleged voter fraud and other abuses.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself Venezuela's leader in 2019, rooting his legitimacy in his role as speaker of the opposition-led National Assembly. His claim has been recognized by more than 50 countries, including the United States.

Islamic State is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more