CARACAS - President Nicolas Maduro Tuesday ordered the expulsion of the chief US diplomatic representative in Venezuela, rejecting economic sanctions imposed by the US over his re-relection.

"I have declared persona non grata and announced the departure in 48 hours of the charge d'affaires of the United States (Todd Robinson)," Maduro said in a speech.

EU weighs sanctions over

vote 'irregularities'

The EU said Tuesday it will consider imposing new sanctions on Venezuela after Nicolas Maduro's re-election was marred by "irregularities" and failed to meet international standards. European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that "the EU and its member states will consider the adoption of adequate measures" as a result of the vote.

The elections took place "without complying with the minimum international standards for a credible process, not respecting political pluralism, democracy, transparency and rule of law," the statement said.

It also cited "major obstacles" to the Venezuelan opposition taking part, adding that "numerous reported irregularities during the election day, including vote buying, stood in the way of fair and equitable elections".

The reaction from Brussels came after President Donald Trump ratcheted up the pressure on Maduro following what the United States called a "sham" election by tightening American sanctions on Caracas.

The EU had warned in April that it would consider further sanctions against Venezuela of its own if the elections were not fair.

In January Europe added seven senior Venezuelan officials including the interior minister to its sanctions blacklist, after hitting Caracas in November with an embargo on weapons and equipment that could be used for political repression.