Venezuelan President Expels 2 US Diplomats Over New Sanctions

Venezuelan President Expels 2 US Diplomats Over New Sanctions

Maduro made the announcement via a nationally televised speech after being officially proclaimed the victor of Sunday's election.

Venezuela is suffering from food shortages stemming from its economic crisis and voter turnout was low on Sunday.

On Sunday, Venezuela held its presidential vote, with four candidates in the running.

Maduro, 55, earlier Tuesday received his official credentials from the National Electoral Council, or CNE by its Spanish acronym, as the victor of the election.

"Technically, up until today, we have not observed any element that could disqualify the electoral process", said CEELA President Nicanor Moscoso in a press conference.

"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 ministry said in a statement. Oil production has plummeted 30 percent and Venezuela has defaulted on about $50 billion in debt.

Venezuelan authorities see new sanctions placed on the Latin American nation by the United States after Sunday's presidential election as the "crime against humanity", the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday, Sputnik reported.

"We do not recognize this electoral process, and we brand it as illegitimate", he stated. Cabello, the vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), has rejected the accusations as false.

For global pressures to work, they should be stepped up, taken in unison and be accompanied by greater unity of Venezuela's opposition parties and escalating protests on the streets.

Falcon did denounce abstention, which was being actively promoted by the MUD, as one of the causes of his defeat, saying that the boycott had "left behind an extraordinary opportunity".

"This is my first visit but it won't be my last visit to Merida or to Venezuela", he said.

Maduro expelled U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Todd Robinson from the nation
Maduro expelled U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Todd Robinson from the nation

Most opposition organizers had urged Venezuelans not to participate in an election from which the most popular anti-government leaders had been banned.

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

The call for dialogue was seconded by former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, who offered to mediate any future talks. They also expressed the possibility of providing financial support to global groups to strengthen the institutional capacities of countries in the region to deal with the migratory flow of people.

"Venezuela's election was a sham - neither free nor fair".

The 14 countries of the Lima Group - which includes Argentina, Brazil and Canada - are also refusing to recognise the election result.

On Monday, President Donald Trump tightened sanctions against Caracas, making it harder for the Maduro regime to sell off state assets.

Robinson was traveling in Venezuela's western state of Merida when he learned through social media of Maduro's order, according to a local radio broadcast of him speaking at an event.

However, Russia, El Salvador, Cuba and China congratulated President Maduro on his election win.

In a statement on Tuesday, Venezuela's foreign ministry said the sanctions violated worldwide law and blamed the USA "blockade" of the country for "blocking the population's access to basic goods". "Undoubtedly, the May 20 election will be recorded in history as an important milestone of democratic consolidation in our country" - the official said.

Maduro will be formally sworn in on January 10, 2019, when his six-year term officially expires.

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