Following Maduro’s victory in an electoral process defined by irregularities and record-breaking voter abstention, the international community has begun to react by distancing itself further from his regime and condemning the vote as fraudulent.
The government of Panama was the first to issue an official statement on the election, saying that it did not recognize its results. That announcement came through the twitter account of its foreign affairs ministry, which posted the following just minutes after the regime declared Maduro the winner of the election:
The government of the Republic of Panama does not recognize the result of the election held this Sunday, May 20 in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, since it does not recognize the process to have been democratic or participatory.
Earlier today, the Lima Group–which is made up of Latin American and Caribbean nations plus Canada–issued a press release denouncing Maduro’s election, and suggested the possibility of withdrawing their receptive ambassadors from Caracas in protest. Below, parts of the statement:
The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Saint Lucia wish to express the following:
We do not recognize the legitimacy of the electoral process that took place in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela yesterday, May 20, since it did not meet the international standards for a democratic, free, just and transparent process.
We agree to reduce the level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, which is why we will recall our ambassadors from Caracas for consultations and summon the Venezuelan ambassadors [in our respective countries] to express our protest.
We reiterate our concern over the deepening political, social and humanitarian crisis that has deteriorated life in Venezuela, which is reflected in the massive migration of Venezuelans who arrive in our countries under difficult conditions, and in the loss of democratic institutions, the rule of law and the lack of political guarantees and rights of citizens in [Venezuela].
Antonio Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, expressed his “concern” over the situation in the country through a spokesperson earlier today. The spokesperson said that Guterrres had “taken note of the results”, and deferred the matter of denouncing the election to the organization’s individual member states.
Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), did not hold back his contempt for yesterday’s event in a message shared on his Twitter account. Almagro called May 20 “an infamous day for democracy in the Americas”, and said that Maduro’s election was “the worst thing” that could happen in Venezuela since it guarantees “the prolongation of the dictatorship”. Almagro also said that the OAS “does not recognize Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela“.
Below, Almagro’s message:
One notable exception in the avalanche of denunciation: Russia, which sent Maduro a congratulatory message on his victory:
In his message, Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that Nicolas Maduro’s work as the head of state will continue to contribute to the development of strategic partnership between the two countries.
The President also reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to continue cooperation with Venezuela on the bilateral and international agenda.
He wished Nicolas Maduro good health and success in resolving the social and economic problems facing his country, as well as in promoting national dialogue in the interests of all Venezuelan people.
Washington Places New Sanctions on Venezuelan Finances
In response to yesterday’s election, the White House announced today that it was placing new sanctions on Venezuela’s financial sector with the goal of preventing the regime from selling off any of the assets that it owns outside of the country.
President Trump signed an executive order this afternoon that bans U.S. persons from purchasing “debt owed to the Government of Venezuela”, as well as any collateral. The same order prevents the Venezuelan government from selling off assets that it owns in majority.
Vice President Mike Pence spoke on yesterday’s election earlier today, saying:
Venezuela’s election was a sham — neither free nor fair. The illegitimate result of this fake process is a further blow to the proud democratic tradition of Venezuela.
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