- The Washington Times - Monday, April 15, 2013

The White House said it supports a recount in the presidential election in Venezuela, where the hand-picked successor of the late communist leader Hugo Chavez narrowly won.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that “given the tightness of the result,” a recount “appears an important, prudent and necessary step to ensure that all Venezuelans have confidence in these results.”

“In our view, rushing to a decision in these circumstances would be inconsistent with the expectations of Venezuelans for a clear and democratic outcome,” Mr. Carney said.

Election officials in Venezuela said Sunday that acting President Nicolas Maduro won the special election to succeed Chavez, who died last month after a two-year battle with cancer. Mr. Maduro defeated opposition leader Henrique Capriles by less than 1 percentage point, 50 percent to 49 percent.

The White House spokesman said the Obama administration congratulates the Venezuelan people “for their peaceful and orderly participation in this electoral process.”

“While our two countries have differences, the United States has long desired a dialogue with Venezuela on matters including counter-narcotics, counterterrorism and the commercial relations between our two countries,” Mr. Carney said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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