Lima Group Recalling Ambassadors for Consultations After Elections in Venezuela

Supporters of Venezuela

"The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Santa Lucia express the following: they do not recognize the legitimacy of the electoral process developed in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on May 20 ..."

The disputed victory is likely to heighten global pressure on Mr Maduro.

The EU and Latin American countries had also warned ahead of the vote that they would take measures against the government if it went ahead with the election.

The Democratic Unity coalition, which was boycotting the vote, estimated turnout at 25.8 percent by 1pm EDT based on its own quick count estimates.

He said Mr Maduro must allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela and that the U.S. will not "sit idly by". But most economists place the blame on poor government management, corruption and broken policies, like tight controls over foreign exchange, an overvalued currency and price controls on goods.

More than 1 million Venezuelans have abandoned their country for a better life overseas in recent years, while those staying behind wait in line for hours to buy subsidized food and withdraw cash that's nearly impossible to find.

Maduro, 55, immediately called for dialogue with his opponents and put the best face forward on what analysts said were nonetheless disappointing results underscoring how vulnerable his hold on power remains. Officials say Maduro won 5.8 million votes, while Falcon got just 1.8 million.

But he showed no sign of replaying Sunday's vote.

Maduro hailed his victory for another six-year term as a "historic record" in a speech to thousands of cheering supporters outside the official Miraflores Palace in Caracas.

The government has responded to the crisis by providing people with boxes of food, including powdered milk and pasta, although most people say they arrive irregularly and do not contain almost enough to sustain a household. Rival candidates have rejected the electoral process and called for new elections.

Falcon had refused to recognize the election's results even before they were announced.

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"Sooner or later, they all break in the face of threats from the imperialists", he said, pleading with the USA to reconsider its belligerence.

With the election behind him, Maduro may choose to deepen a purge of critics within the ruling "Chavismo" movement.

"Maduro's days in power are numbered", Rubio said in a statement.

Maduro accused his opponents of trying to "demonize" a program meant to address the social crisis and not assert political control.

"To Henri Falcon, to Javier Bertucci.to all the leaders of the opposition, let's have a meeting".

National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena acknowledged a handful of complaints, but insisted they were minor compared to past elections.

Voting centres across Venezuela's capital Caracas appeared largely empty, and authorities kept polling stations open past the official closing time.

Most opposition organisers had urged Venezuelans not to participate in an election from which the most popular anti-government leaders had been banned.

Bertucci, a TV evangelist, stopped short of challenging the results, saying what he called a mistaken opposition boycott that led to the lowest voter turnout in two decades of socialist rule also boosted Maduro. "If the other right wing countries that are supported by the USA want to dialogue, I am open to that", he said.

Opinion polls say the overwhelming majority of Venezuelans distrust the electoral council.

Venezuelan officials have declared socialist leader Nicolas Maduro the victor of Sunday's presidential election. We're in the final phase of a tragic cycle for our country.

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