CARACAS, Thursday April 25, 2013 | Update

United States: "Recount" increases confidence in Venezuelan election

The US Government urges not to arrest political leaders

The US hopes Venezuelan newly appointed chargé d'affaires to Washington, Calixto Ortega, helps foster Venezuela-US communication (Enio Perdomo)
Thursday April 25, 2013  01:40 PM
The US Government regarded as "positive" the National Electoral Council's decision to "recount" the votes cast in the presidential election held on April 14 in Venezuela. "Ideally it will increase the confidence of all Venezuelans that the election process met their standards," a US spokesperson told daily newspaper El Universal under condition of anonymity.

The source added, "The recount, and looking into and resolving alleged voting irregularities, are important in order to ensure that the Venezuelan people feel their democratic aspirations are being met."

He commented that "as Venezuela continues to work through these issues, it is essential that Venezuelan government to respect the rights of Venezuelan citizens to peaceful assembly and free speech. We also urge all parties to refrain from violence and other measures –including threatened arrests of political leaders and journalists– that could arise."

The source explained that "the issue now is not whether the United States ‘recognizes' the results of the election or not. The issue is how to ensure an institutional approach that permits all Venezuelans -regardless of which candidate they supported- to have confidence in the results of the electoral process."

He also stressed, "We categorically reject allegations of US government involvement in any plots to destabilize the Venezuelan government or to harm anyone in Venezuela."

The spokesperson added that the United States "is committed to maintaining diplomatic relations at the highest level" and that its ambassadors "are the President's personal representatives and symbolize our commitment to promote dialogue with foreign governments and peoples on issues of mutual interest."

He pointed out, "we lack ambassadorial representation in Venezuela because the government refused to accept our proposed ambassador. We regret this state of affairs, and are continuing to work to return a US ambassador to Venezuela."

Meanwhile, US State Department Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell welcomed Calixto Ortega's appointment as Venezuela's new chargé d'affaires to Washington.

Ventrell said, "It's important to establish effective channels of communication between governments so we can discuss matters of mutual concern. The Venezuelan decision to send Calixto Ortega as their charge d'affaires of –in charge of the Venezuelan Embassy here could be a step in that direction."

"We believe it is important and timely to establish a productive relationship based on mutual interests, such as counternarcotics, counterterrorism, the energy relationship, the commercial relationship," Ventrell said.
The end of a cycle

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil on March 13 to demand the ouster of embattled President Dilma Rousseff, carrying banners expressing anger at bribery scandals and economic woes. A banner read "We don't want a new Venezuela in Brazil."