Controversial vote to be investigated, Venezuela’s AG tells CNN

CNN nuCaracas, Venezuela (CNN)Venezuela’s Attorney General has initiated an investigation into potential voter fraud in Sunday’s election, following claims that the government may have inflated voter numbers significantly.

Luisa Ortega Diaz, in an interview to CNN en Español Wednesday, said that she has appointed two prosecutors to investigate the directors of the National Electoral Council “for this very scandalous act that could generate more violence in the country than what we have already experienced.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro orchestrated last weekend’s vote, which led to the creation of a controversial new legislative body, the National Constituent Assembly. The body takes the place of the opposition-led National Assembly, in a move that critics fear will erode democracy. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

Unfortunately, in recent years, continued progress in these areas has been threatened, not least by the radical populist governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, and elsewhere. These governments have instituted retrograde agendas that include the propagation of class warfare, state domination of the economy, assaults on private property, anti-Americanism, support for such international pariahs as Iran, Russia, and even transnational criminal organizations.

We are a group of concerned policy experts that fear the results of these destructive agendas for individual freedom, prosperity, and the well-being of the peoples of the region. Our goal is to inform policymakers and international public opinion of the dangers of these radical populist regimes to inter-American security.