China Won't Publicly Congratulate Maduro on Venezuelan Election Fraud

EPA-EFE  ERNESTO GUZMAN JR

Trump has issued two other executive orders since August targeting the Maduro regime - one that prohibited Americans from using Venezuela's cryptocurrency and another imposing new economic sanctions on the oil-rich country.

Reacting to the ongoing developments, on Tuesday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the expulsion of USA charge d'affaires Todd Robinson and deputy head of mission Brian Naranjo and declared both of them "persona non grata". "Enough with the conspiracies", Mr.

Maduro repeated claims that Venezuela's economic woes - which include shortages of food, medicine and almost all government services - have been caused by foreign powers trying to undermine his Socialist-inspired government.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency carried a report today (May 23) saying that high-ranking official Kim Yong Nam sent Maduro a congratulatory message calling the reelection "an expression of the firm will of all the people of Venezuela to advance the Bolivarian revolution to the last and their trust in him".

The Trump administration has also tried to convince China and Russian Federation to stop issuing new credit to Venezuela, U.S. officials told reporters on Monday.

It appears to target in part Citgo [PDVSAC.UL], a US -based oil refiner owned by Venezuela state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL].

The two US diplomats are the latest to become targets of official wrath in the years since Venezuela adopted a quasi-socialist system. More obstacles to PDVSA's ability to sell oil overseas could restrict already-dwindling foreign exchange earnings, worsening the economic crisis and pressuring Maduro.

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

Prior to Sunday, CEELA observers participated in all fourteen of the pre-election audits conducted by the CNE in conjunction with all participating political parties, in addition to overseeing the "hot audit" of 54.4 percent of all voting machines mandatorily carried out on election day.

Latin American and European countries should move fast to impose individual financial and visa sanctions on top Venezuelan officials, their relatives and straw men.

The vote was marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of fraud, which led the USA to tighten sanctions.

Maduro will be formally sworn in on January 10, 2019, when his six-year term officially expires.

Earlier on Tuesday, Venezuela's foreign ministry called the U.S. sanctions "a crime against humanity". The two countries have provided billions of dollars in funding for Venezuela in recent years. -Venezuelan oil transactions and making it harder for Venezuelan officials to profit from selling off the country's assets.

Evangelical candidate to the presidency Javier Bertucci likewise initially rejected the results "on account of the red points", which he said were "bribing people with food and money". The South American country uses mostly US diluents to reduce the viscosity of its heavy oils, and would have to pay much more to get them elsewhere.

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