Despite opposition protests demanding a ballot recount, congratulations are pouring in for Venezuela’s proclaimed President Nicolas Maduro: Brazil, Argentina, Russia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Unasur, although the OAS and the US have adopted a more cautious attitude.
Brazil’s Foreign minister Antonio Patriota congratulated Nicolas Maduro for his election as president of Venezuela and reaffirmed Brazil’s decision to continue working closely with Caracas.
Patriota also gave full support to the statements from the Unasur follow-up mission which was present at the election and insisted that the results given by Venezuela’s electoral authorities ‘must be respected’.
“Sunday’s election was a victory for democracy. In our region we consider the full exercise of democracy as an essential ingredient of regional integration and for closer and deeper relations at all levels between Brail and Venezuela”, said Patriota.
The Unasur follow up Electoral mission praised the “civic spirit” of the Venezuelan people in Sunday’s election and called for respect for the official electoral results plus sending a veiled message to opposition leader Henrique Capriles who is demanding a ballot recount.
In an official release the Unasur mission said they had been witness of an ample exercise of civic responsibility and freedoms by the Venezuelan people.
As to the electoral result: “Unasur states that as it did from the very first day it set office in the country, the results must be respected since they originate in the National Electoral Council, CNE, the only competent authority in the matter according to Venezuela’s constitution and legal framework”.
“Any claim, questioning or extraordinary procedure which any of the participants in the electoral process might request, must be channelled and resolved in the current legal framework”.
Argentina’s Foreign Ministry sent its congratulations to Venezuela’s elected President Maduro stating that “the people of Argentina and its government congratulate President Nicolás Maduro for his electoral victory.”
Once more, the Venezuelan people ratified that voting is the most pacific way possible in order to keep carrying all the transformations started by late leader Commandant Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.”
Likewise Argentina questions Capriles attitude: the Argentine delegation sent along with Unasur watchdogs, ratify the transparency of the electoral process as it had also been the case of the previous 18 elections celebrated in Venezuela since Chávez’s first win 14 years ago.”
Finally, “as President Cristina Fernández said, all Argentines will join and support President Nicolás Maduro in the continuation of the work started by the Venezuelan people.”
On Sunday night, President Cristina Fernández congratulated Maduro on her Twitter account. “Congratulations to the new President Nicolás Maduro; my eternal gratitude to my dear friend and partner Hugo Chávez”.
In similar terms the governments of Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba among others congratulated the Venezuelan people and President Maduro for his victory which ensures the continuity of Hugo Chavez Bolivarian legacy.
However the US State Department, the OAS, Organization of American States and Guatemala were more cautious in considering Sunday’s election.
“First of all, we congratulate the Venezuelan people for their broad participation in this electoral process. Given the extraordinary tightness of the result – around 1 percent of the votes cast separate the candidates – the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles, and one member of the electoral council have called for a 100% audit or recount of the results. Governing party candidate Nicolas Maduro also welcomed the full recount. This appears an important, prudent, and necessary step to ensure that all Venezuelans have confidence in these results”, said the State Department spokesperson when asked about Sunday’s election in Venezuela.
Likewise “we note that the opposition has called for an investigation into allegations of irregularities. The results reveal the Venezuelan electorate that is roughly evenly divided. In order to meet all Venezuelans’ democratic expectations, it makes sense that such a recount should be completed before any additional steps, including official certification of the results, occurs”.
OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza expressed his satisfaction at the civic spirit of the Venezuelan people shown during the election on Sunday, in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which allowed for the holding of an orderly and calm presidential election with high participation.
However, “faced with the results released by the National Electoral Council (CNE) at the end of the day Sunday, and then the announcement by the representatives of the government and the opposition on the need to conduct an audit and a full recount of the vote, Secretary General Insulza expressed his support for this initiative and made available to Venezuela the OAS team of electoral experts, of recognized prestige and long experience in the field.
”In a context of deep division and political polarization, as shown by the electoral process, the leader of the OAS made a fervent call for a national dialogue to help calm the mood of the Venezuelan society and to help chart a common path to strengthen the governability of the country”, concluded OAS chief Insulza.
Guatemala said it trusted that “the Venezuelan electoral institution system is sufficiently strong to give the necessary reply to the problems and demands currently presented”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also congratulated Maduro and said he expected good relations to continue with a country where Moscow has significant oil investments.
Putin expressed confidence that under Maduro's leadership Venezuela will further strengthen its relations of strategic partnership with Russia, the Kremlin said after the Sunday vote.