Maduro sworn in as Venezuela President for second term

Leroy Wright
January 13, 2019

Nicolás Maduro has been sworn in for a second term as Venezuela's president, despite worldwide criticism that his re-election was illegitimate.

Although Maduro has obviously refused to do this, many countries will no longer deem Maduro as Venezuela's president, and will instead recognize the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, 35-year-old Juan Guaidó, as the country's interim leader.

Residents of Caracas awoke Thursday to unusually quiet streets but with a noticeably increased security presence and armed checkpoints.

Maduro says he is going to turn around an economy whose collapse he blamed on USA sanctions.

Maduro's new mandate also comes despite the economic war that has been unleashed against the Maduro government by the United States and its European allies using economic sanctions.

Meanwhile, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Thursday agreed "to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's new term as of the 10th of January of 2019", the bloc said in a statement.

The EU has imposed sanctions on Venezuela over rights abuses, including an arms embargo and travel bans and asset freezes targeting 18 members of the Maduro regime. He won the presidential election on May 20 with 57.4 percent of the votes, and will lead his country till 2025.

Venezuela President Maduro sworn in for second term
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Sworn in for 2nd Term as Crisis in Country Deepens

"Sometimes it's hard to find food because businesses hide it and then say it's the president's fault, even though we all know that's a lie", said Graciela Laya, 43, a homemaker, at a rally near the Supreme Court. Canada has provided $2.2-million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuela and is a member of the Lima Group of countries that is trying to bring global pressure to bear on the South American country.

Hatami told reporters that Iran attaches importance to expanding all-out ties with "friendly and brotherly" country of Venezuela.

Five Latin American countries and Canada have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela for crimes against humanities, including torture and the arbitrary detention of anti-government protesters.

Hyperinflation, widespread hunger and deaths from preventable diseases in formerly oil-rich Venezuela have sparked an exodus of more than 3 million people, from a nation with a population of just over 30 million, Otis reports. The UN has said more than 5 million will have fled by the end of this year.

Many prominent opposition figures are either in jail or exile and various factions continue to squabble over power while the National Assembly, the one institution they control, has been left impotent after Maduro created the rival Constituent Assembly and filled the Supreme Court with loyalists who annul every decision made by parliament.

"No authoritarian and repressive government falls just because its opponents - weak and disorganized - demand it".

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