The Obama administration continues to stoke tensions with Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro following Maduro’s narrow election victory. On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said he does not know if the United States will recognize Maduro’s defeat of opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski and renewed his call for a recount. Venezuela’s electoral council has rejected a recount, saying it is impossible the result was flawed. At a meeting with state governors, Maduro rejected Kerry’s comments.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro: "Who are you to talk about Venezuela with the many problems the United States has, economic, social and political problems that are overwhelming the people of the United States? Take your eyes off Venezuela, stop with the scripted intervention. Close your eyes when listening to a U.S. government official and you’re listening to any of these bourgeoisie leaders. They (U.S.) will not recognize (the election result). We don’t care about recognition, we decided freely and we will be free and independent, with or without you. We don’t care about your opinion."
Henrique Capriles formally submitted his recount request on Wednesday. He was quoted as saying in the weeks before the vote that Maduro shouldn’t remain in office even in victory. Capriles said: "Whatever the outcome, I don’t see how Nicolás Maduro has the capacity to stay for an extended time in government. He will have to resign, abandon (the presidency) if he’s able to win."