By JAVIER MANJARRES
In the weeks leading up to the Presidential election, Maduro and his supporters threatened to “activate seven thousand five hundred witnesses to counter a possible attempt to destabilize the opposition.” This obvious threat, along with similar threats, have brought many politicos to question the integrity of Venezuela’s election results.
Shortly after Maduro accepted the election results, he agreed to a recount, but then abruptly decided against it. The following day, amid thousands of Venezuelans protesting the election results, government soldiers began burning ballot boxes filled with cast ballots.
Senator Marco Rubio is now weighing in on the election, and is also asking for a “full and transparent audit of the result,” as well asking the Obama administration to not jump the gun and acknowledge the election results until a full audit has conducted and completed.
“The people of Venezuela have now spoken. The interim government is now obligated to ensure that the will of the voters has been expressed in legitimate election results. This obligation includes the conduct of a full and transparent audit of the results, as requested by the opposition coalition. I am troubled by press accounts of fraud and electoral misconduct including uncounted votes.
“I urge Venezuelan authorities to refrain from any steps that may forever tarnish the credibility of the new government, such as rushing to certify the election results ahead of a full and transparent audit of all the votes. I also urge the Obama administration not to endorse the results of the election until the audit has been completed.
“The Venezuelan people should know that the democracies of the Western Hemisphere are watching the electoral review process closely and will seek to hold accountable any individual determined to have disrupted the peaceful conduct of free and fair elections. The United States stands ready to work with those Venezuelans who wish to put their country on the path to a more successful future.”