The United States is hesitating to recognise Nicolás Maduro as president of Venezuela and has called for a recount of the vote from Sunday’s closely fought election. The procrastination is likely to embolden Venezuela’s opposition and enrage many on the left in Latin America, who have long accused the US of interfering in the region’s politics. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said he had yet to evaluate whether the disputed result was legitimate when asked about the matter by members of the House of Representatives. “We think there ought to be a recount,” he told the foreign affairs committee in reference to Venezuelan opposition demands for a full audit of the vote.
At least seven people have died in the protests that have riven Venezuela following Sunday’s narrow presidential poll. The National Electoral Council declared Maduro the winner by 262,000 votes out of 14.9m cast.
Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate, claims the count may have been rigged and says he considers the outcome illegitimate unless it is checked in full.
Maduro initially agreed to a recount. But the electoral council as declared the result “irreversible”.
On Wednesday, the president of the supreme court said a manual count was an impossibility and called the request for a recount “a deceit of the people” that aimed to destabilise the country.