Venezuelan President expels two top United States diplomats

APTOPIX-Venezuela-Maduro

"I'm not clear what should happen now, but it should be a matter of USA concern because a lot of people are hurting [in Venezuela] and it's also in our backyard".

Luis Emilio Rondon, the sole opposition voice on the electoral council, backed Falcon and Bertucci's claims of irregularities and said he too refused to recognize the results.

Browne said: "I look forward to working with you and expanding our cooperation in projects related to development for the mutual benefit of both peoples". According to Kronick, when Hugo Chavez became Venezuela's president in 1999, the country was producing 3.5 million barrels of oil a day.

"The so-called Lima Group that has recalled (its) ambassadors is actually an anti-Venezuelan bloc cobbled together in Peru's capital at the April Summit of the Americas", the expert pointed out. The Venezuelan government has missed the opportunity for an urgently needed political rectification.

The global community will have to impose much tougher measures to force Maduro to allow free and fair elections.

In the lead-up to the vote, Mr. Robinson took a less confrontational tone than that coming from Washington Republicans, most notably Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who posted a picture of a prison jumpsuit after Mr. Cabello was sanctioned, implying that the Venezuelan would be jailed.

The expulsion comes after Washington denounced Maduro's victory in Venezuela's elections on Sunday as a "sham".

Venezuela's re-elected President Nicolas Maduro greets his supporters as he leaves after receiving a certificate confirming him as victor of Sunday's election at the National Electoral Council (CNE) in Caracas, Venezuela May 22, 2018.

On Monday, President Donald Trump Monday tightened sanctions against Caracas, making it harder for the Maduro regime to sell off state assets.

Venezuela-Political-Crisis-29
A police officer fires tear gas against anti-government protesters in Caracas Venezuela

The prime ministers of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda resoundingly congratulated Maduro on his second win.

"What happened in Venezuela on Sunday is truly freaky".

Opposition leaders had called for a boycott of the election to protest the Maduro government.

Falcon called for a new election, complaining about the government placing of almost 13,000 pro-government stands offering "prizes" close to polling stations nationwide.

Demonstrators did barricade some streets in the southern city of Puerto Ordaz, drawing teargas from the National Guard, witnesses said.

Given Maduro's iron grip on the military and on most of the country's important political institutions, many observers outside of Venezuela agree that any solution will likely require a regime change. The bolivar currency is down well over 99 percent over the past year and annual inflation is at almost 14,000 percent, according to the opposition-led National Assembly. "The third act will be the levying of sanctions on oil companies, the USA may possibly block any oil exports just like it has been obstructing oil companies' access to the global banking system to prevent any deals involving Venezuelan oil", Pshenichnikov noted.

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

See graphics on the election results http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/VENEZUELA-ELECTION-RESULTS/0100705R0E1/VENEZUELA-ELECTION-RESULTS.jpg and the background http://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/rngs/VENEZUELA-ELECTION/0100703N08H/index.html to the election.

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