By Heather Nauert
U.S. Department of State
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States applauds the courage, determination, and will of the Venezuelan people who tried to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the October 15, gubernatorial elections.
We condemn the lack of free and fair elections yesterday in Venezuela. The voice of the Venezuelan people was not heard. Our previously stated concerns were unfortunately realized: lack of independent, credible international observers; lack of technical audit for the National Electoral Councilís (CNE) tabulation; last minute changes to polling station locations without public notice; manipulation of ballot layouts; and limited availability of voting machines in opposition neighborhoods.
As long as the Maduro regime conducts itself as an authoritarian dictatorship, we will work with members of the international community and bring the full weight of American economic and diplomatic power to bear in support of the Venezuelan people as they seek to restore their democracy. We continue to call on the regime to provide for the humanitarian needs of its people, respect the constitution and National Assembly, allow a true democratic process, and release all political prisoners.