Representatives of Argentina, Canada, Australia, Mexico, Chile, and the United States said in a joint statement on Monday they would not recognize the result of Venezuela’s presidential election held on Sunday.
“Taking into account the lack of legitimacy of the electoral process we do not recognize the results of (Sunday’s) election … which excluded the participation of some political actors,” said Argentina’s Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie.
Chile is not part of the Group of 20, but was invited to participate in the meeting of foreign ministers by Argentina, which holds the G20 rotating presidency this year.
Venezuela’s socialist President Maduro faced growing international condemnation and possible fresh U.S. sanctions on Monday, after his re-election that critics denounced as a farce cementing autocracy in the crisis-stricken oil producer.
The 55-year-old successor to late leftist leader Hugo Chavez hailed his win as a victory against “imperialism.” But his main challengers alleged irregularities and refused to recognize the result.
Venezuela’s mainstream opposition boycotted Sunday’s vote, given that two of its most popular leaders were barred, authorities had banned the coalition and several of its parties, and the election board is run by Maduro loyalists.
The president took 68 percent of votes – more than three times as many as his main rival Henri Falcon. However, turnout was a low 46 percent, compared with 80 percent at the last presidential election in 2013.
Thousands of red-clad Maduro supporters hugged and danced past midnight outside the presidential palace in Caracas, showered in confetti.
“The revolution is here to stay!” a jubilant Maduro told the crowd. He promised to prioritize economic recovery after five years of crippling recession that has seen many in the OPEC nation of 30 million people struggle with chronic shortages of food, medicines and other basic necessities.
“We mustn’t cave to any empire, or go running to the International Monetary Fund as Argentina did,” said government supporter Ingrid Sequera, 51. She wore a T-shirt with a logo featuring the eyes of Maduro’s mentor, Chavez.
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