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Venezuelan presidential candidate Henri Falcon departs after speaking about the results of the election at Falcon's press center in Caracas, Venezuela, May 20, 2018.

"The United States stands with democratic nations in support of the Venezuelan people and will take swift economic and diplomatic actions to support the restoration of their democracy", Pompeo said in a statement. "It is part of the democratic practice and this challenge will have to go through existing channels" in the National Electoral Council (CNE), former Spanish prime minister and mediator in the Venezuelan elections, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, said in an exclusive interview with EFE. "In the United States there has been a fierce pressure to try to besmirch the Venezuelan elections - and they couldn't", Maduro said earlier Sunday.

Many governments around the world rejected the election even before ballots were cast as several key rivals of Maduro were barred from running.

The National Election Council announced that with more than 92% of polling stations reporting, Mr Maduro won almost 68% of the votes Sunday, beating his nearest challenger Henri Falcon by more than 40 points.

A woman waiting outside a polling station in a Caracas slum, La Vega, said she worked for a government agency and feared losing her job if she did not vote and report afterward at the Red Spot.

Accomplishing that should be the focus for global policymakers and Maduro's domestic opponents in the coming weeks and months.

Turnout in the previous three presidential elections averaged around 79 percent. Many Venezuelans saw Chavez as the champion of the poor.

The Trump administration said it would not recognize the "sham" election and was considering oil sanctions.

Chile's President Sebastian Pinera said after the results of the vote were announced: "Venezuela's elections do not meet minimum standards of true democracy". Unconcerned about low turnout, Maduro asserted that even if the opposition had not boycotted the vote, he still would have won. Election officials said they would address the claims.

A coalition of 14 nations from throughout the Americas, including Brazil, Mexico and Colombia announced they would not recognise the result and pledged to ramp up diplomatic and economic pressure on Venezuela.

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.

"I am looking for rewards, everyone wants to win prizes", said voter Maximino Ramos at "red point" in Petare, just 50 meters from a polling centre.

Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro has faced worldwide condemnation after his re-election in a vote foes denounced as a farce. Sunday's election could have been a tool to mobilize people if the opposition had chosen to compete in an unfair process and forced the regime to either recognize defeat or commit levels of election day fraud that would enrage Venezuelan voters. "Thank you for giving me 68% of those votes".


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