U.S. won’t recognize election of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, backs calls for recount

A supporter of Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles protest in Caracas on April 16, 2013. Violent protests over Venezuela's disputed presidential election have so far left seven people dead and dozens injured. Raul Arboleda (AFP)/Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is refusing to recognize Venezuelan President-elect Nicolas Maduro and says a recount of this week’s election should occur.

Testifying before Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry backed the call by opposition leader Henrique Capriles for the vote count of Sunday’s presidential election to be re-examined.

Venezuela‘s National Electoral Council says Maduro won by 262,000 votes out of 14.9 million cast.

But asked directly at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Tuesday if he recognized Maduro as the winner, Kerry would not say yes or no.