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Venezuela hits back at Obama election slight

Elias JauaFM

CARACAS, Venezuela, May 5, 2013 - Venezuela has angrily rejected US President Barack Obama's "interventionist" criticisms of the country's recent election. It also accused Washington of being behind post-poll violence. In an interview that aired on Friday, Mr Obama refused to say if the US recognised Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela's new president.

When asked by reporters during his trip to Mexico and Costa Rica, the US president evasively said it was up to the people of Venezuela to choose their leaders in legitimate elections.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said that Mr Obama's "fallacious, intemperate and interventionist declaration" will lead toward deteri orating relations between the countries and "confirms to the world the policy of aggression his government maintains against our country."

Mr Obama also claimed that basic principles of human rights, democracy, press freedom and freedom of assembly were not observed in Venezuela following the election, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary from observer groups.

"Venezuela rejects with all the force of its Bolivarian dignity the declaration by US President Barack Obama which again attacks the legitimate Venezuelan government," the Foreign Ministry statement said.

In another interview with the Telemundo network today, Mr Obama described as "ridiculous" the idea that US filmmaker Timothy Tracy, who has been detained by Venezuelan police, was a spy.

He also claimed the US hadn't tried "in any way" to interfere with the elections.