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Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro after winning his re-election on May 20, 2018. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

President Nicolás Maduro was declared the winner of Venezuela’s presidential election on Sunday with 68% of the vote. Although the main opposition parties boycotted the election, the two opposition candidates who participated came in at 21% and 11%. Maduro will serve another 6-year term after an election characterized by low turnout — 46% compared to 80% in the previous race — and widespread allegations of fraud.

Why it matters: Although Sunday’s outcome is a far cry from the landslide victories of Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chávez, the country’s economic mismanagement and steady march toward authoritarianism are bound to continue.

What's in store for the country after Maduro’s re-election:

  1. With generalized irregularities before and on election day, Venezuela will remain a competitive authoritarian regime — one where elections are held but the results are predetermined.
  2. The economic emergency will likely grow more dire, fueling a vicious cycle. The government corruption and mismanagement that contributed to hyperinflation, soaring violent crime, widespread poverty and the unprecedented exodus of Venezuelans will get worse as conditions deteriorate.
  3. Although the recent increase in oil prices has eased some of the financial strain on government coffers, the disarray of Venezuela’s oil industry will prevent higher prices from translating into a palpable improvement in living conditions. With a
    37% production decline since 2015, the government’s inability to preserve its main source of hard currency suggests a slow but steady collapse of the state.

The big picture: As in 2005, boycotting elections has accomplished little for the opposition. To challenge Maduro in the future, the opposition will have to rally behind a common candidate, as in 2013, when Henrique Capriles lost to Maduro by only 1.5% of the vote.

Gustavo Flores-Macías is an associate professor of government at Cornell University.

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Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

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Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Pompeo plots 2024 power play

Mike Pompeo in Washington on Feb. 12. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Mike Pompeo has quickly reentered the political fray, raising money for Republicans, addressing key political gatherings and joining an advocacy group run by Donald Trump's former lawyer.

Why it matters: The former secretary of state is widely considered a potential 2024 presidential contender. His professional moves this week indicate he's working to keep his name in the headlines and bolster a political brand built largely on foreign policies easily contrasted with the Biden White House.