Netherlands doesn't recognize results of Venezuela elections
The Netherlands does not recognize the outcome of the elections held in Venezuela over the weekend, in which leftist president Nicolas Maduro was re-elected. "They were not free and independent elections", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, RTL Nieuws reports.
The opposition in Venezuela boycotted the elections. Many of Maduro's opponents are in prison or have fled the country. The economy is in such bad shape that Blok called Venezuela an example of "how you can help an economy all the way to demolition point." Many people are fleeing the country, and asylum seekers are flooding into Colombia and the Dutch islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
Federica Mogherini, chief of foreign affairs in the European Union, also stated that the Venezuelan elections did not meet the international standards at all. The low turnout alone makes the results not credible, she said. Mogherini spoke of a lack of respect for political pluralism, democracy, transparency and the rule of law. She called on the Venezuelan government to release political prisoners and restore democracy.