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Erdogan congratulates Venezuelan leader's election victory

23 May 2018

The outcry followed US condemnation even before the pro-government National Election Council declared Maduro the overwhelming victor in Sunday's vote, which drew the lowest participation on record for a presidential election in decades.

The order came one day after Maduro won a presidential election that many consider to have been fraudulent.

Maduro won 68 percent of votes - more than three times as many as his main rival Henri Falcon. Maduro from power. The United States could impose sanctions on what is left of Venezuela's oil exports, but that move risks harming the already suffering Venezuelan people even more.

That includes a ban on formal military co-operation with the country and leaving the Canadian embassy in Caracas headed only by a charge d'affaires instead of an ambassador. The Venezuelan government has missed the opportunity for an urgently needed political rectification.

In the speech on Tuesday, Mr.

"We believe in the process and we're giving President Maduro another chance", said 45-year-old social security worker Maira Garcia, as she celebrated his victory in the poor Caracas hillside neighborhood of 23 de Enero.

The diplomatic row over re-election of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro has been spreading like a wildfire in South America.

FILE - In this March 14, 2018 file photo, United States Chargé d'Affaires Todd Robinson attends the inauguration of a culture center that will facilitate study overseas opportunities for Venezuelan youths, in Lecheria, Venezuela.

Previous sanctions were limited to assets linked to individual Maduro administration members.

A senior USA official said Sunday the Trump administration might press ahead on threats of imposing crippling oil sanctions and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned "sham elections change nothing".

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan warned of the possibility of an oil embargo against Venezuela. On Friday, the US Treasury blacklisted influential Maduro supporter Diosdado Cabello, his wife Marleny and his brother Jose, alleging they were running a "corruption network" based on illegal drug trade. 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.

Therefore, as advanced in our statement of April 19, the European Union and its member states will consider the adoption of adequate measures.

Maduro's government, however, said the USA was using new sanctions to sabotage the election.

"What they don't want to understand is Venezuela is sovereign and free", Maduro said.

He was, he said, defending the "dignity of the Venezuelan homeland". Turnout for the election was under 50 percent, compared to 80 percent in 2013.

Maduro, 55, earlier Tuesday received his official credentials from the National Electoral Council, or CNE by its Spanish acronym, as the victor of the election.

"The administration has never seen a kleptocracy like this", a senior administration official said on Monday. More than two million Venezuelans have fled the country in recent years, and their numbers may grow as the country's inflation rate is expected to hit 13,000 percent this year, the highest in the world.

But they appeared unlikely to heed the US warnings. "As it has so often been in the past, the target of their efforts is the United States". The latest USA sanctions against Venezuela and uncertainties of oil supply in the Middle East have already sent the price of crude soaring to five-year record highs.

Most mainstream economists say the country's strict currency controls, heavy state intervention and money-printing are responsible for a crisis that has caused widespread shortages of food and medicine and led to mass emigration.

Erdogan congratulates Venezuelan leader's election victory