Interim Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro emerged victorious after Venezuela’s presidential election this past Sunday. The chosen successor of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won a narrow victory against opposition party leader Henrique Capriles. The narrow margin of victory for President Maduro caused allegations of corruption, miscounts, and eventually widespread protests in the streets of Venezuela which reportedly resulted in 8 deaths. Calls for ballot recounts – which were not limited to the opposition party – came in from the US and has resulted in an expanded ballot audit from the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE), Venezuela’s electoral body, which will conduct a full 30-day recount of the virtual and paper ballots later this year. Concurrently, South American leaders have shown an outpour of support for President Maduro’s new government after an emergency meeting in Lima Peru. South American leaders were also present at the inauguration ceremony on Friday, which also included Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (April 19, 2013 Reuters; April 18, 2013 Reuters)