President Nicholas Maduro says that the United States is interfering in his country's affairs. The Venezuelan leader made the comments after the company contracted to provide tech for the state's voting system claimed the final turnout numbers in Sunday's elections had been manipulated. But according to Maduro, the company was forced by the United States to make the claims.

Stupid for caving-in to the United States

Maduro is standing by the official count, which said that approximately 8 million votes had been cast. He also voiced his conviction that the country's opposition had blocked more than two million other potential voters from exercising their right to cast a ballot.

In comments made on television, the Venezuelan leader accused the tech company's chief executive officer of being stupid for bowing down to pressure from the Americans and Britain. On Wednesday, the firm's chief executive said that after studying the results collected by their system, they had been left with no doubt that someone had intentionally tampered with the official turnout figure. During his remarks during a meeting with approximately 500 people who won elective posts to the country's assembly, President Maduro did not provide any tangible evidence to his angry accusations.

Nonetheless, his claims were received with applause and enthusiasm. The assembly will have powers to dissolve state organizations, and if need be, rewrite Venezuela's constitution.

The President is also on record saying he could use the assembly to go after anyone opposed to his rule. However, the opposition has not been cowed by the threats and has announced its intentions to try and block the assembly's swearing-in. Opposition figures have also urged the country's populace to come out for mass protests against the assembly's installation.

Approximately forty nations have also vowed not to recognize the new Venezuelan assembly. Many observers are convinced that the assembly is another of Maduro's cunning ploys to strengthen his power base.

Economic sabotage

Maduro was forced to organize the vote in May after his government was hit by a wave of unrest, fuelled by massive inflation, shortages of basic food items, and escalating insecurity.

Maduro, a former trade union leader, has watched his approval ratings go down due to food shortages and inflation. Human rights activists have accused Maduro of being an authoritarian, especially after his government's regular crackdowns on mass protests. He has accused the United States of waging an economic war against him, in an attempt to get its hands on Venezuela's vast oil resources.