World News

Nicolas Maduro sworn in as Venezuela president — Maduro Inauguration

Nicolas Maduro sworn in as Venezuela president — Maduro Inauguration

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro started a second term on Thursday, defying critics in the United States and Latin America who called him an illegitimate usurper of a nation where economic chaos has wrought a humanitarian crisis. But Rodney Charles, a lawmaker in the country, says Trinidad refuses to label them "refugees", in order to toe the line with Maduro's government.

Maduro will assume a new term for which he has committed to "promote the changes that are needed in Venezuela, to defend the right to peace and respect for the Constitution".

That support was on display on Thursday afternoon during a ceremony at Venezuela's military academy in Caracas.

Security forces blocked off several areas of the capital and other cities, and opposition groups called for pot-banging and the sounding of horns in protest during the ceremony.

Canada joined the United States and 17 Latin American governments in rejecting the legitimacy of the new Maduro government.

"There are problems in Venezuela, like in any other country".

Expect the instability to continue-and as a result, the prospect of foreign investment in Venezuela's lucrative oil industry will remain volatile. Some said Maduro should do more to crack down on business leaders for raising prices.

Maduro, 56, was sworn in by Supreme Court president Maikel Moreno, amid cheers and applause by a crowd of hundreds attending the inauguration in Caracas. Diplomatic ties were formalized between Venezuela and St. Kitts and Nevis on October 31, 1983.

The US, EU, and 13 countries in the Americas said last week that they would not recognise Mr Maduro's presidency.

Why is Maduro's re-election controversial?

More news: Royal Family celebrates Kate's birthday with lovely photos of the Duchess

Mr Maduro was first elected in 2013, succeeding Hugo Chavez who died of cancer after governing for 14 years.

He won re-election past year despite hyperinflation, chronic food shortages and a severe economic contraction. But the vote was marred by an opposition boycott and allegations of vote-rigging. US banks are also banned from doing business with Venezuela, putting a financial strangle-hold on the cash-strapped country.

Why has his government been criticised?

Since taking office he has faced criticism at home and overseas over alleged human rights abuses and his handling of the economy, which is in a parlous state.

Maduro denies that he's a dictator and often blames President Donald Trump of leading an economic war against Venezuela that's destroying the country.

The government is also increasingly struggling to get credit after it defaulted on some of its government bonds.

Maduro claims sanctions cost the country $20 billion in 2018.

Discontent within the military's ranks has grown as Venezuela's economic collapse has deepened, prompting millions to migrate.

A USA government source told Reuters the government believes reports that Padrino threatened to resign if Maduro did not depart are credible.


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