Maduro wins another term as opponents cry foul about election

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The Trump administration on Monday barred Americans from a risky but potentially lucrative type of financial transaction with Venezuela's state-owned companies as it condemned the reelection of President Nicolás Maduro as a sham.

Recall that the national electoral Council of Venezuela announced that the country's current President Nicolas Maduro won the snap election.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday called on the Venezuelan government to "hold free and fair elections" after President Nicolas Maduro was re-elected in a vote widely condemned overseas.

Trump said the executive order would prevent Venezuela's government from conducting "fire sales" of its assets. Even as voting was taking place Sunday, a senior State Department official warned that the USA might press ahead on threats of imposing crippling oil sanctions on the nation that sits atop the world's largest crude reserves.

Trump administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the order would close off avenues of corruption.

US Vice President Mike Pence dismissed the Venezuelan election as "neither free nor fair" and said the "fake process" was a blow to the "proud democratic tradition" of Venezuela.

"It's offensive when they say the Venezuelan people are falling under dictatorship", he said after voting.

Mr Maduro's main challenger, former state governor Henri Falcón, secured 21 per cent of the vote.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza was quick to decry the freshest round of United States sanctions, describing them as "illegal measures".

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While the order applies only to U.S. citizens and residents, the official said the Trump administration had had "fairly pointed discussions" with China and Russian Federation over the issuing of new credit to Venezuela.

"[The sanctions] are madness, barbaric, and in absolute contradiction to global law", foreign minister Jorge Arreaza said.

For Maduro, the biggest risk now is an "implosion" if government officials are cornered and pressed by the worldwide sanctions, said analyst Luis Vicente Leon. They agree to reduce the level of diplomatic relationships with Venezuela, for which they will consult their ambassadors in Caracas and the Venezuelan ambassadors to express their protest. But the low turnout of 46 percent - barely half of the previous turnout - meant the socialist president actually received fewer votes than when he won for the first time in 2013.

"We wish that the election results will contribute to the further strengthening of peace and stability in Venezuela and to the increasing of the prosperity of the people of Venezuela", it added.

The US has imposed new economic sanctions after Sunday's election.

Officials also outlined how the Maduro regime is using hunger as a weapon by parceling food and during the election, awarding food and small change to those who "voted" for Maduro.

After the announcement of Maduro's election victory, a number of countries, such as Argentina, Spain, Germany, and the United Kingdom characterised the vote as either unfair or illegitimate.

The group deplored Venezuela's "grave humanitarian situation" behind a migrant exodus, and promised to help coordinate with worldwide financial bodies to crack down on corruption and block loans to the government. "This money belongs to the Venezuelan people".

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