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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexican Court Frees Ex-US Marine Jailed on Gun Charges

Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi had been behind bars since March for bringing guns into the country
More

Mexico Police Investigate Police Link in Shooting Deaths of US Siblings

Deaths of Erica Alvarado Rivera, her brothers and boyfriend as they traveled to visit family is third high-profile case in recent months that links security forces to extrajudicial killings
More

Lawmaker Blasts US Participation in Cuba Ebola Meeting

Mario Diaz-Balart said ALBA, which chaired the meeting, 'was created solely to oppose US interests' and US participation was 'ludicrous'
More

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Western Experts Increasingly Fear Lone Wolf Terror Attacks

Slaying and assault on Canada's parliament building was followed by a hatchet attack on two New York City policemen
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More