Venezuela expels top USA diplomat

23 May, 2018, 19:06 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Venezuela expels top USA diplomat

The Venezuelan leader announced the move after being officially proclaimed victor of Sunday's election, which was boycotted by the opposition and criticised by the global community.

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.

Maduro accused United States charge d'affaires Todd Robinson of acting as a "conspirator" in Venezuela and declared the diplomat persona non grata, Efe reported.

"These sanctions that the U.S. is imposing...are preventing the Venezuelan government from borrowing any additional funds on global markets... making it hard for them to really fund any sort of economic recovery", said Alexander Maine of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in an interview with RT. It called Washington's move as part of "a systematic campaign of aggression" by U.S. administration and said they had no legal base.

The United States immediately threatened to retaliate. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a belligerent speech on Monday, threatening to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" if Iran doesn't submit to all the Trump administration's demands.

"What happened in Venezuela on Sunday is truly freakish", said Kronick.

His predecessor, Patrick Duddy, was expelled by President Hugo Chavez in 2008, but was able to return and serve out the rest of his term the following year, after the Obama administration restored diplomatic relations with Caracas.

The deeply unpopular Maduro was declared the victor with 68 percent of the vote, but 52 percent of voters did not cast ballots - a historic abstention rate.

Maduro does run an increasingly autocratic government that's been hit by U.S. sanctions, however, so that makes him easy to relate to for Pyongyang.

Venezuela's foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, called the new sanctions illegal, saying they were "madness, barbaric and in absolute contradiction to global law".

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Venezuelans are reeling under an acute crisis with hyperinflation projected by the International Monetary Fund to reach 13,800 percent this year and dire shortages of food and medicine.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the country to escape the growing deprivation.

Likewise, over 150 personalities and intellectuals from the USA and Canada, including Danny Glover and Noam Chomsky, have expressed concern about the ethics of their government's sanctions against Venezuela and the humanitarian consequences.

The European Union said it was also weighing new sanctions after the election was marred by "irregularities" and failed to meet global standards.

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

National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena acknowledged a handful of complaints, but insisted they were minor compared to past elections.

"The Maduro regime must allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela and must allow its people to be heard".

"We will be the most powerful and largest political force in Venezuela for a long time", he told a festive crowd of supporters who poured into the grounds of the presidential palace to celebrate.

"Never have we witnessed an global attack as bad as the one that characterized this process", she said.

"The voices of denunciation returned, without evidence". "Venezuela is free, sovereign and independent".

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