News / Americas

South America Rushes to Back Venezuelan President-elect

Venezuela's President-elect Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks during a visit to the Center of Integral Medical Diagnosis (CDI) of the Barrio Adentro health programe in Caracas, in this picture provided by Miraflores Palace, April 16, 2013.
Venezuela's President-elect Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks during a visit to the Center of Integral Medical Diagnosis (CDI) of the Barrio Adentro health programe in Caracas, in this picture provided by Miraflores Palace, April 16, 2013.
Reuters
South American leaders will make a collective show of support for Venezuelan President-elect Nicolas Maduro on Thursday in Lima, officials said, as the United States and his opponents call for a recount of the disputed vote.
    
Venezuela Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said he would attend the last-minute meeting of the regional group Unasur in Peru a day before Maduro's swearing in on Friday.

Sources in Lima said Maduro would also attend, but there was no confirmation from Venezuelan officials.

Maduro was named by late President Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer in March, as his chosen successor.

Protests erupted in Venezuela after Maduro won Sunday's election by a narrow margin of about two percentage points, and at least eight people have been killed in violent clashes.

Leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales said Washington had no right to question Maduro's victory because George W. Bush won the presidency by a similarly narrow margin in 2004.
    
“This is clearly meddling,” Morales said in La Paz. “We condemn this and repudiate it. We won't permit that Bolivia or Latin America be treated as the U.S. government's backyard.”
    
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday told lawmakers he favored a recount because of possible voting irregularities.

Maduro's supporters have defended the legitimacy of his narrow win with repeated references to the 2000 U.S. election dispute, when the U.S. Supreme Court halted a recount in Florida and Bush was declared the winner in the state by just 537 votes.
    
Although moderate South American leaders were expected to voice support for Maduro, it appeared unlikely that they would criticize Washington as openly as Morales.
    
The governments of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia and Argentina, among others, have already recognized Maduro's victory, but Washington has not.

The European Union has said it is “concerned by the growing polarization of Venezuelan society” and suggested Venezuelan authorities consider an audit of the vote.
    
Leaders to attend swearing-in ceremony


Peru holds the rotating presidency of Unasur and the group's election monitors have said Maduro's win was legitimate.

“We all thought we needed to get together before Maduro's swearing in to show a unified bloc in response to statements from outside of the region and some from within that question the legitimacy of the election,” Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said on radio.

Most of the leaders, including President Dilma Rousseff of regional heavyweight Brazil, will head to Venezuela for the swearing-in ceremony after the meeting in Lima.
    
The outcome of Sunday's vote has been rejected by Maduro's rival, Henrique Capriles, who has alleged thousands of irregularities at polling centers and wants a full audit of the ballots.
    
Maduro's allies have said a recount is unnecessary because the electoral council had already carried out a partial audit.

But Jorge Rodriguez, a top Maduro ally, said on Wednesday the ruling Socialist Party would not oppose a complete audit of the electronic voting system.

“We are in agreement with any audit, whatever they want,” he said. “They can even verify if there are flying saucers that took their [poll station] witnesses to Mars.”
    
The National Electoral Council had audited 54 percent of the votes. Rodriguez said the party would not oppose auditing the remaining 46 percent.
    
While that is not the manual recount that Capriles has asked for, it could constitute a concession to the opposition that may pave the way for a negotiated settlement of the standoff.
    
The opposition leader pointedly said, via Twitter, that he was considering going to Lima and had spoken to various heads of state who were “receptive” to the idea of a vote recount.

You May Like

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Nicaragua Rescuers Save 20 Miners; Search Continues

Wall of mud, rocks trap miners at El Comal site in Bonanza, 420 kilometers northeast of Managua
More

Shortage-weary Venezuelans Scoff at Fingerprinting Plan

Proposal on food sales sparks backlash ranging from violent street protests to social media campaigns ridiculing the idea
More

Rescuers Contact 20 Miners Trapped in Nicaragua Gold Mine

Two miners have been rescued, others are believed to be alive
More

Brazil Enters Recession in Pre-election Blow to Rousseff

Experts say left-leaning policies have dented consumer and business confidence and caused heavy losses for financial investors
More

Peru Drug Bust Seizes Record 6.5 Tons of Cocaine

Police arrest 7 Peruvians, 2 Mexicans suspected of trying to smuggle load to Europe as coal
More

New Brazil Poll Shows Silva Beating Rousseff in Runoff

Outcome seemed unimaginable just a few weeks ago; would put an end to 12 years of Workers' Party rule
More