Venezuela stepped up attacks on the United States, threatening retaliatory measures affecting trade and energy if Washington resorts to sanctions in a row over the country’s disputed presidential election. Vowing not to go back on the late Hugo Chavez’s revolution, President Nicolas Maduro said at a swearing-in ceremony for his new cabinet, “There will be no pact here of any kind with the bourgeoisie. Make no mistake.” He accused the United States of threatening Venezuela, and spoke with approval of the warning to Washington leveled earlier in the day by Foreign Minister Elias Jaua in Guayaquil, Ecuador. “If the United States takes recourse to economic sanctions, or sanctions of any other kind, we will take measures of a commercial, energy, economic and political order that we consider necessary,” Jaua said in a television interview.
It came after a senior State Department official was quoted as urging Venezuela to recount the votes in the April 14 election to give the public confidence in the result.
The United States has so far withheld recognition of the official election results, which gave Maduro a narrow victory over opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, setting off violent protests that left eight dead.
An audit of the vote is supposed to begin as early as this week, but the National Electoral Council’s vice president said Saturday it would not overturn Maduro’s victory.
US Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson was reported over the weekend to have said that the election council acted too quickly in proclaiming Maduro the winner, and that half of Venezuelans do not have confidence in the result.
Asked if the United States would impose sanctions if Venezuela refused to recount the votes, Jacobson said she could not say one way or another, according to CNN en Espanol.
Full Article: AFP: Venezuela threatens oil trade in row with US.