Nicolas Maduro sworn in as Venezuela president — Maduro Inauguration

Elias Hubbard
January 11, 2019

The Organization of American States has voted not to recognize the legitimacy of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has just taken the oath of office for a second six-year term.

The 56-year-old socialist leader was sworn in by Supreme Court president Maikel Moreno as an audience of hundreds, including a handful of South American leftist leaders and Venezuela's military top brass, cheered and applauded.

"We are a real democracy, here I am, to democratically take the reins of our country to a higher destination, we have complied with the rules and will continue to do so", Maduro said.

The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that Padrino had told Maduro to step down last month and said he would offer his own resignation if he did not.

Members of the so-called Group of Lima, which includes Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, said Maduro's new term would be illegitimate because the 2018 election that gave him a second term was not free or fair and that they would not recognize his leadership.

Canada slammed Maduro for transforming his country into a "fully entrenched dictatorship".

In May, Maduro declared victory in a presidential election that his political opponents and many foreign nations consider illegitimate because popular opponents were banned from running and the largest anti-government parties boycotted the race. We applaud the initiative by the new National Assembly leadership to work with the global community to recover these and other stolen funds and to use them to relieve the suffering of Venezuela's people.

The European Union has also said it will not recognise Mr. He blew kisses at a welcoming party of children waving Venezuelan flags, and saluted supporters looking down from the building's multi-tiered galleries.

Most countries from Europe and Latin American didn't send representatives to the swearing-in.

Maduro used his speech to call for a summit of Latin American leaders to discuss "with an open agenda all the issues that need to be discussed, face to face!"

Foreign leaders included Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Bolivia's Evo Morales, and Cuba's Miguel Díaz-Canel, as well as diplomats from other authoritarian regimes such as Russia, China, and Iran.

The ceremony contrasted with the harsh realities that face the former bus driver turned socialist leader, including hyperinflation, severe food and medicine shortages and an exodus of millions of citizens.

"He still has control of the institutions", Smilde said.

But his first term saw an exodus of millions of people escaping economic meltdown. President Mario Abdo Benitez said his country "in the exercise of its constitutional powers and national sovereignty, adopts the decision to break diplomatic relations with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela". But the country is marred by skyrocketing inflation, which rose 1.7m percent in 2018. Maduro was Venezuela's vice-president under Chavez, until Chavez's death in 2013.

Supreme Court Chief Maikel Moreno dedicated almost 20 minutes to explaining why Maduro was not being sworn in by Congress, which the ruling Socialist Party has systematically ignored since the opposition took control of the body in 2016.

He called on them to be prepared "for any circumstances that we face this year or in years to come". Maduro remained squarely in power.

Many prominent opposition figures are either in jail or exile.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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