State Dept: We’re not quite ready to recognize the new Venezuelan regime

posted at 6:01 pm on April 16, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Opposition leader Henry Capriles isn’t backing down on his demand for a recount of Venezuela’s Sunday special election results in the wake of Hugo Chavez’s death last month, insisting that the barely more than one percentage point Nicolas Maduro ostensibly has over him is very likely ill-begotten:

Maduro won the snap election — called following the March 5 death of Hugo Chávez, who had himself won reelection over Capriles in October 2012 — with 7.505 million votes, or 50.7 percent. Capriles, who polls had trailing far behind Maduro, racked up 7.270 million, or 49.1 percent, according to the CNE. But Capriles immediately called foul and said he wouldn’t accept the results unless the agency undertook a full audit.

“We are not going to recognize the results until every vote is counted,” said Capriles after the CNE released preliminary results. “The people’s voice is sacred and needs to be respected. The people’s will is everything.”

At least one CNE board member, Vicente Díaz, also called for a full recount, citing irregularities during the vote ranging from intimidation to posting campaign posters too close to ballot sites. The unfolding impasse promises to plunge Venezuela into its worst political crisis since a 2004 recall vote against Chávez resulted in almost a yearlong governmental and economic paralysis.

Maduro had been slated to win by at least several percentage points, but a highly emotional campaign in which he focused more on Hugo Chavez appearing to him in the form of a bird than he did the terrible state of Venezuela’s troubled economy probably did something to shift some public opinion in Capriles’ favor. His camp claims that Capriles actually won by about 300,000 to 400,00 votes, and they aren’t ready to throw in the towel — and the U.S. State Department doesn’t sound too satisfied with the situation, either, according to deputy spokesman Patrick Ventrell. Via Breitbart:

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Capriles has too many means for recourse, especially with the long-installed Chavismo influences fighting his claims tooth and nail by any means necessary. Whether or not this thing turns into a full-blown legitimacy crisis, though, Maduro is going to have to start his tenure with a clearly divided country on his hands, and a wretched economy to boot.

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There goes Jay-Z on another fact finder.

Limerick on April 16, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Send in Heinz long face to get to the bottom of it.

acyl72 on April 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM

“Not quite ready.” Not quite. Give them another week.

Lourdes on April 16, 2013 at 6:10 PM

I’m sure Jimmy (love me some Sandinista’s) Carter can get to the bottom of it./s

surprised Obama hasn’t called him in yet. Nobody can whitewash a crooked Latin American like Jimmeny.

mark81150 on April 16, 2013 at 6:15 PM

Just get Sean Penn to fly down there and embrace Maduro as being worthy of continuing the Chavez legacy. The State Department will come around quickly.

Gator Country on April 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Venezuela election 2013

Venezuela’s acting president, Nicolas Maduro, was declared the winner of the country’s presidential election, which took place on April 14, 2013, following the death of Hugo Chavez in March.

Venezuela’s president-elect Maduro bars opposition march as toll from election violence reaches 7 – @AFP

4 hours ago from by editor

Venezuela’s Maduro: Opposition leader Capriles is planning a coup – @Reuters

5 hours ago from by partner

Venezuela election death toll rises to seven, official says – @ReutersWorld

6 hours ago by partner

canopfor on April 16, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Any hanging chads?

tommer74 on April 16, 2013 at 6:36 PM


Letter that has tested positive three times for Ricin was sent to Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

Resist We Much on April 16, 2013 at 6:38 PM

It’d be nice for these jokers to be on the right side of history for once. The Iranian election, and our craven response to it, looms all too large.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on April 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Well, obama and his cabal LOVED Chavez, so what’s the hold-up with embracing Maduro? They should be thrilled.

Pork-Chop on April 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM

The Left wins elections by any means necessary.

jnelchef on April 16, 2013 at 6:59 PM

I feel an evolvement coming on.

elifino on April 16, 2013 at 7:08 PM

Awww… 0bama misses his boo, Hugo.

Wolftech on April 17, 2013 at 3:15 AM

If Capriles’ supporters are marching in the street, Harry Belafonte will set ’em straight.

With an oil-rich country in political chaos, this would be a great time to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

But since Obummer won the election, everybody take a deep breath and blow as hard as possible on your windmills.

Steve Z on April 17, 2013 at 12:37 PM