Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro was re-elected on 20 May until 2025 which, if he serves out his term, would mean 26 straight years of Bolivarian governments. The result was no surprise; the suspense lay in the reaction to the result and, above all, the size of the turnout. The US and Lima Group of 14 hemispheric nations stepped up sanctions while, with the notable exceptions of China and Russia, the international community refused to recognise the result. Maduro celebrated the biggest electoral victory since Venezuelan military dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez was overthrown in 1958. But turnout was by far the lowest since then and Maduro fell well short of the 10m votes he wanted to try and confer some credibility on an electoral process denuded of legitimacy by his government’s actions.

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