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.
A translation of the statement of the Lima Group reads: “They do not recognize the legitimacy of the electoral process carried out in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that ended on May 20, for not complying with the international standards of a democratic, free, fair and transparent process.”
“They agree to reduce the level of their diplomatic relations with Venezuela, for which they will call for consultations to the ambassadors in Caracas and will summon the ambassadors of Venezuela to express our protest,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, the U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order restricting Maduro government from “selling off or borrowing against, public assets.”
President Trump said: “We call for 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.
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. “We do not recognize this electoral process as valid. There must be new elections in Venezuela,” Mr. Falcon told the press.