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

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Venezuela's Opposition-run Congress Defies Government Over Ban

    Conflict of powers heightened when three lawmakers facing fraud accusations were reinstated Thursday

    Peru's Kuczynski Takes Office With a Vow to Fight Inequality

    Oxford-educated former investment banker, deemed 'elitist' by opponents in last month's election, says he will modernize country with policies aimed at raising incomes of poorest

    Brazil's Lula Contends His Rights Were Violated in Corruption Probe

    Former leftist icon, being investigated for allegedly benefiting from Petrobras kickback scheme, files petition with UN Human Rights Committee

    JetBlue to Become First Airline to Operate US-Cuba Flights

    US budget airline says it will launch scheduled commercial flights from the United States to Cuba on Aug. 31, ahead of competitors that have also announced departure dates

    El Salvador Captures 120 Members of Mara Salvatrucha Gang

    It's part of a broad offensive to curb the escalation of gang-related killings in the Central American nation

    Rio Olympic Security Will be Monitored From Above

    'Eyes in the sky' — balloons carrying high-tech cameras — will help security teams in Brazil keep watch over Games