Venezuela Crisis Deepens

Anti-government protests in Venezuela. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Anti-government protests in Venezuela. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Venezuela has expelled the U.S. Charge d’affaires Todd Robison as international backlash mounts following the controversial elections.

The Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced the expulsion of the U.S. Charge d’affaires after the official result of his elections victory was announced.

President Nicolas Maduro accused Todd Robinson of conspiracy against his socialist regime.

The Venezuelan President ordered Todd Robison and Brian Naranjo, the deputy head of mission, to leave Venezuela within 48 hours.

President Maduro said in his victory speech that he was defending the “dignity of the Venezuelan homeland.”

President Maduro said: “Neither with conspiracies nor with sanctions will you hold Venezuela back.”

National election of Venezuela was held on May 20. The opposition parties of Venezuela boycotted the election.

The turnout for the single-round vote was record-low; only 46 percent according to the National Electoral Council (CNE) whereas the voters’ turnout in the last election in 2013 was 80 percent.

The incumbent president of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro won the election with 5.8 million votes. He won more than 4 million votes than the independent candidate Henri Falcon who came in second.

President Maduro hailed the election triumph because (in Maduro’s language) it was a victory against ‘imperialism’.

“We are the force of history turned into a permanent popular victory,” Maduro said during addressing his supporters.

The independent candidate Henri Falcon refused the result and called for a new election. Mr. Falcon told the press: “We do not recognize this electoral process as valid. There must be new elections in Venezuela.”

The U.S. President Trump, following the controversial Venezuelan elections, announced an executive order to limit the Maduro government’s ability to sell off state assets.

The U.S. President Trump’s executive order reads: “I have signed an Executive Order to prevent the Maduro regime from selling or collateralizing certain Venezuelan financial assets, and to prohibit the regime from earning money from the sale of certain entities of the Venezuelan government.”

The U.S. President Donald Trump urged the “Maduro regime to restore democracy, hold free and fair elections, release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally, and end the repression and economic deprivation of the Venezuelan people.”

Even before the U.S. sanctions, Lima Group, a bloc of countries from Americas, have recalled their ambassadors from Venezuela because of Caracas’s failure to hold a free and fair election.

The group said in a statement that the members’ representatives in Caracas will return to their respective countries for consolations.

The member states of Lima Group include: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia.

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