Amid Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly election Sunday, the U.S. State Department released a press statement which declared that it "will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the National Constituent Assembly."
With no apparent irony, the U.S. government condemned the process as an attempt to “weaken the right of the Venezuelan people to self-determination.”
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley added that the ANC election was a "step toward dictatorship" and that the United States will not accept an illegitimate government in Caracas.
Over eight million people voted in Venezuela's election Sunday, a turnout of over 41 percent, according to electoral authorities.
Voting hours were extended by due to the overwhelming response, as hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans from across the country lined up long before dawn to cast their ballots for the 545 candidates.
The State Department, however, had nothing but praise for sectors of the right-wing opposition who organized an informal, non-binding referendum on July 16. Since the opposition destroyed ballots after the vote, there is no way of knowing how many people actually voted, which also saw people easily vote more than once. Nevertheless, opponents of the Venezuelan government allege that about 7.1 million people cast their unofficial ballots.
Several Latin American countries, hearing the United States bark, have quickly joined the chorus of those condemning Venezuela.
Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and Panama have all refused to recognize the ANC election results despite dozens of international observers, namely members of the Council of Electoral Specialist of Latin America pronouncing that vote as "legitimate, saying that "Venezuela's self-determination and sovereignty must be acknowledged and respected."
Spain, the historical colonizer of large swaths of the Americas, also insisted that it will not recognize Venezuela's ANC.
Peru has gone as far as calling a special meeting of like-minded foreign ministers in Latin America to discuss the National Constituent Assembly and its "impact on the democratic order in Venezuela."
In a press statement released Sunday, Peru's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will hold a meeting Tuesday with the ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, among others.
Venezuela's assembly vote, according to CEELA, was a clear indication that "the Venezuelan people have made their case for peace despite threats and interventionist actions for the United States as well as their associates and allies."
Venezuela's ANC election was peaceful with the exception of a few isolated incidents of violence by opposition supporters who protested and staged guarimbas in a bid to shut down the election.