Venezuelan President Expels 2 US Diplomats Over New Sanctions

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro

Tensions between the USA and Venezuela have mounted following Maduro's victory in the presidential election Sunday, a vote that the White House and others have branded a "sham".

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.

Responding to the outcome on Monday, US Vice President Mike Pence called the election "a sham". Cabello, the vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), has rejected the accusations as false.

The joint statement says by "failing to meet accepted global standards and not securing the basic guarantees for an inclusive, fair and democratic process, this election and its outcome lack legitimacy and credibility".

The United Nations has estimated that almost 1 million Venezuelans the country left between 2015 and 2017.

It said United States policy "promotes hatred, intolerance and political and financial lynching" of Venezuela.

"I repudiate all the sanctions that are sought against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, because they harm it, they generate suffering for the people of Venezuela", Maduro said in the speech. "The illegitimate result of this fake process is a further blow to the proud democratic tradition of Venezuela", he stated.

E-cig explosion kills FL man
Though such incidents are rare, this isn't the first time a spontaneous e-cigarette explosion has raised concerns. According to the report , the pen he used was a "mod" type, or a modified e-cigarette created to be customizable.

"We will be the most powerful and largest political force in Venezuela for a long time", he told a festive crowd of supporters who poured into the grounds of the presidential palace to celebrate.

The group consists of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia.

The 14-member bloc additionally resolved to "coordinate actions in order that worldwide and regional financial organisms do not grant loans to the Venezuelan government" in a bid to increase the pressure on the re-elected Maduro administration.

Moreover the Venezuela's foreign ministry released a statement referring to the United States sanctions "a crime against humanity".

The US has already tightened sanctions against Venezuela after the poll, which Maduro won with 68 percent of the vote but was boycotted by the main opposition parties and had a record abstention rate.

In the phone call, the leaders also spoke about bilateral relations and reiterated their determination to strengthen cooperation between the two countries, according to presidential sources.

The vote took place amid a severe financial crisis in the Latin American country, the economy of which has been hit by dropping oil prices.

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