Costa Rica, Panama refuse to acknowledge Venezuelan election results

May 21, 2018

Costa Rica and Panama were two of 14 countries in the Americas to announce they would not acknowledge the results of Sunday’s elections in Venezuela in which President Nicolás Maduro was reelected with almost 68 percent of the vote. The two governments asserted the process was not democratic.

The Costa Rican Foreign Affairs Ministry released a statement arguing that the Venezuelan electoral process presented “flaws from its genesis and did not comply with the international standards of a pluralist, free, democratic and transparent electoral process.”

Costa Rica also expressed “its profound worry that the electoral journey did not take into account the participation of all of political actors, nor of international independent observers, which weakens democracy.”

In the case of Panama, where the Foreign Ministry released a similar statement, the decision reflects increasing tensions between the two countries ever since Panama included Maduro and other Venezuelan senior officials in a list of individuals considered “high risk” for money laundering in March.

In response, Venezuela suspended economic relations for three months with a hundred Panamanian businesses including Copa Airlines, Venezuela’s primary air travel connection with Latin America.

Argentina, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Santa Lucia expressed similar positions Monday.

The leading opposition candidate in the Venezuelan elections, Henri Falcón, did not acknowledge the electoral result, saying he did not consider the process to have been legitimate and asking that the election be repeated.

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