Updated at: 05/03/2013 8:35 PM
(AP) MEXICO CITY - President Barack Obama isn’t saying whether the United States recognizes Nicolas Maduro as Venezuela’s new president.
When asked on Spanish-language network Univision, Obama replied that it’s up to the people of Venezuela to choose their leaders in legitimate elections.
Obama said reports indicate that basic principles of human rights, democracy, press freedom and freedom of assembly were not observed in Venezuela following the election.
Maduro is the hand-picked successor to Venezuela’s late president, Hugo Chavez. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles narrowly lost to Maduro in last month’s elections. Capriles contends the election was stolen from him.
Tensions between supporters on both sides remain high, with tens of thousands of Venezuelans protesting in the streets and even lawmakers brawling on the floor of the National Assembly last week.
The interview aired Friday.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)