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>> Nicolás Maduro cruising to victory in Venezuela's presidential election Sunday. A race that was condemned by world leaders, and his own people, as a complete farce. I'm for Reuters outside the Mira Flores Presidential Palace in where Maduro supporters are already celebrating his win behind me. But it's safe to say that millions of Venezuelans are angry with the results.
They call Maduro a dictator and say that he is destroying their economy. Political analysts says Maduro's main rival, Henri Falcon, didn't stand a chance as many furious Venezuelans decided to abstain from voting. Turnout appeared low across the country. From the easter Caracas to fiercely anti-Maduro state of Tachira near Colombia as two of the most popular candidates were banned for running.
Falcon's team had also received hundreds of complaints about red points. Tents set up by the government outside polling centers where Venezuelans scanned their state issued fatherland card for a chance to win a prize, promised by Maduro. Critics point to that as an example of Maduro blatantly buying the votes of poor Venezuelans.
>> It's a fraud. Horrible, terrible. These elections have been fraudulent.>> In the city of San Cristobal near Columbia, Venezuelans hung dummies from a bridge, representing widely hated Socialist Party officials. Expats from Buenos Aires to Santiago, and even Miami had anti-Maduro protests Sunday. And the US State Department said it is rejecting the results that are likely to trigger foreign sanctions against Venezuela.
The nation of 30 million already reeling from debilitating food shortages, rising levels of malnutrition, and a deep recession.