The Soviet Union and Nicaragua yesterday dismissed Sunday's election in El Salvador, calling the ballot a "farce" and saying it was a U.S. ploy to legitimize the government there.

The Soviet news agency Tass said the election was marked by widespread fraud, while the official Nicaraguan press emphasized that leftist guerrillas had carried out military attacks during the voting.

Both countries had previously criticized the ballot.

Venezuela, a principal Latin American supporter of the election, praised the heavy turnout. The Socialist International, an organization of Socialist parties worldwide, was reported to be planning an initiative later this week to seek to launch negotiations between the Salvadoran government and the guerrillas.

Tass said the election was stage-managed by Washington to legalize the rule of a "puppet regime" subordinated to the United States.

"There were no lists of electors, and a person had only to show his identity card to be allowed to vote. It was possible to vote many times in several polling centers," Tass said.

Nicaragua's official government newspaper Barricada said: "The United States has delayed all true negotiations for a peaceful solution to the violence and has operated on the assumption that the 'elections' will take away the legitimacy of the Salvadoran revolutionary movement."

Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government, which overthrew former dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979 after a two-year civil war, has openly expressed sympathy for the Salvadoran rebels.

The Nicaraguan opposition newspaper La Prensa did not publish Sunday afternoon because a government censor cut four front-page articles, including the lead story headlined "Citizens line up to vote despite the danger--the vote wins in El Salvador." The censor also rejected a photograph showing people lining up to cast their ballots.

Venezuelan President Luis Herrera Campins said that the election represented "a blow to the Marxist movement worldwide," Washington Post correspondent Jackson Diehl reported from Caracas.

Venezuela's ambassador to the Organization of American States, Hilarion Cardozo, said Venezuela would support any Salvadoran government that "kept a program of strengthening democracy and social progress."

The Canadian Press news agency quoted a high-ranking Socialist International official in Europe as saying "a substantive statement" on El Salvador will be released in Bonn on Thursday or Friday