Venezuela expels two United States diplomats after new sanctions

Venezuela expels two United States diplomats after new sanctions

Venezuela expels two United States diplomats after new sanctions

Prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, said: "We applaud your government and your people for conducting these elections". Maduro claiming victory with about 5.8 million votes - 5 million more than his nearest challenger - many see the results as sadly predictable.

The White House branded the vote a "sham", and US President Donald Trump issued an executive order limiting Venezuela's ability to sell state assets, heightening pressure on Maduro's cash-strapped government.

The U.S. Mission to the UN Twitter account tweeted that Venezuela's elections "an insult to democracy".

Prior to Sunday, CEELA observers participated in all fourteen of the pre-election audits conducted by the CNE in conjunction with all participating political parties, in addition to overseeing the "hot audit" of 54.4 percent of all voting machines mandatorily carried out on election day. The United States should collaborate with these efforts and seek to make new diplomatic partnerships to broaden the coalition of nations pressuring the Maduro regime to reform or give up power. If Maduro presses forward, he warned, Venezuela will explode before his new six-year term is scheduled to begin in January.

Vice President Mike Pence also tore into the Maduro regime on Monday, declaring in a statement that the United States "will not sit idly by as Venezuela crumbles and the misery of their courageous people continues". The two countries have provided billions of dollars in funding for Venezuela in recent years.

Maduro became president after socialist firebrand ruler Hugo Chavez died of cancer in 2013.

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But he showed no sign of replaying Sunday's vote. The vice president did not, however, cite evidence to support the allegations of fraud. "They said they had no information on what was happening".

Some poor cardholders in Caracas - there are 16.5 million nationwide - said they hoped Maduro would deliver on his campaign promise of a "prize" to those who demonstrated their loyalty.

Faced with a clear defeat at the polls on Sunday night, opposition presidential frontrunner Henri Falcon refused to recognize the results. According to the National Electoral Council, it's a 47 points advantage over Maduro's rival.

Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza responded forcefully to the latest round of U.S. sanctions, which follow hard on the heels of socialist candidate Nicolas Maduro's Sunday electoral victory.

"Venezuela once again condemns the systematic campaign of aggression and hostility by the USA regime to punish the Venezuelan people for exercising their right to vote", the country's foreign ministry said in a statement obtained by the news agency.

Venezuela has suffered hyperinflation, chronic shortages of food and basic goods, and a collapse of public services as the country's oil revenues plummeted amid reduced petroleum output and, until recently, low crude prices.

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