Venezuela's Maduro orders expulsion of top United States diplomats

APTOPIX-Venezuela-Maduro

APTOPIX-Venezuela-Maduro

Is this move by outside countries to further castigate the Venezuelan government for an election deemed unfair the right way to help?

The socialist leader won another six-year term Sunday in an election derided by opposition groups and many in the global community.

Maduro, the 55-year-old successor to Hugo Chavez, won re-election easily, but critics said the vote was riddled with irregularities, from the barring of two popular opposition rivals to the offering of a government "prize" to voters.

Turnout Sunday was around 46 percent - the lowest in a presidential race in two decades of revolution.

As the results were being announced, residents of downtown Caracas banged pots in protest just a few blocks from where Maduro supporters were celebrating.

Most mainstream economists say the country's strict currency controls, heavy state intervention and money-printing are responsible for a crisis that has caused widespread shortages of food and medicine and led to mass emigration.

Lucena, from the same leftist party as Maduro, rejected allegations by the opposition and much of the worldwide community that the polls were not legitimate.

"We energetically reject the accusations against me and against Brian Naranjo", said Robinson, in comments streamed live on Facebook by local media.

The worldwide community will have to impose much tougher measures to force Maduro to allow free and fair elections.

Venezuela's elections took place on Sunday and Maduro was re-elected until 2025, with the BBC reporting the Chavist leader gaining 68% of the vote.

Venezuela-Political-Crisis-29
A police officer fires tear gas against anti-government protesters in Caracas Venezuela

President Donald Trump responded on Monday with an executive order limiting Venezuela's ability to sell state assets.

Venezuela and the US haven't exchanged ambassadors since 2010.

"We alert the global community to the threat to world peace represented by the supremacist, racist and interventionist regime that governs Washington today, inspired by the nefarious postulates of the Ku Klux Klan", the foreign ministry said in a statement. The current developments surrounding Venezuela were planned and carefully staged by the US, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies expert Igor Pshenichnikov told TASS. Maduro has counted on the support of China and Russian Federation, which have provided billions of dollars in funding in recent years.

Perhaps these economic and humanitarian pressures, coupled with increasing outside pressure from the global community, will force the Venezuelan government to give in to demands in order to rescue the country.

Other countries also hinted at sanctions, with Spain leading European Union criticism of the election.

Venezuela has become a humanitarian catastrophe. And because a confrontational path with both countries might not be politically possible because it could send oil prices skyrocketing, Maduro might get a pass.

The group in a statement said the members' diplomats in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, would return to their respective countries for consultations.

Falcon called for a new election, complaining about the government placing of almost 13,000 pro-government stands offering "prizes" close to polling stations nationwide.

Kronick and Cardenas went on to explain that one key reason for the large win by Maduro is that most opposition parties boycotted the election.

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