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Sun May 12, 2013 9:40AM
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference in Caracas on May 9, 2013.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a press conference in Caracas on May 9, 2013.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the United States has made a ‘grave mistake’ in refusing to acknowledge his victory in the recent presidential election. The statement came on Saturday after US President Barack Obama recently rejected to say whether Washington recognized Maduro as the new president of Venezuela. “I believe (the United States) is committing a grave mistake, one more in its policy towards Latin America,” Maduro stated. “It is making a tremendous mistake because Venezuela plays a leadership role in Latin America and the world,” the Venezuelan president said. Maduro defeated opposition leader Henrique Capriles on April 14 by receiving 50.7 percent of the vote against 49.1 percent. However, Capriles has claimed vote irregularities. In addition, Maduro said Obama was “convinced” by his advisors to refuse to recognize the election results. “They promised him that I would be ousted in 24 or 48 hours, or that there would be a violent crisis in the country.” Also, in reference to the election and the deadly protests that followed, Maduro called Obama the “grand chief of devils” on May 3 and said the US president had given “his blessing for the fascist right wing to attack Venezuela’s democracy.” Venezuela and the United States have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010. CAH/HSN
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