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Isolation greets Maduro’s new term as Venezuela’s president

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AP

Scott Smith

Jan. 10 2019

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Nicolas Maduro celebrated the start to a second term as Venezuela’s leader Thursday, but his world got smaller as countries seized upon the inauguration to cut back diplomatic ties, reject his legitimacy and label him a dictator.

Once among Latin America’s wealthiest countries, Venezuela is enduring a historic crisis following two decades of socialist rule, with residents struggling to afford basic goods as inflation soars, driving mass migration.

Maduro’s second six-year term extends the country’s socialist revolution amid widespread complaints that he has stripped the country of its last vestiges of democracy.

Seventeen Latin American countries, the United States and Canada denounced Maduro’s government as illegitimate in a measure adopted Thursday.

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

Presidents Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba, Evo Morales of Bolivia and Anatoli Bibilov of a breakaway province of Georgia were among the few foreign leaders who attended the ceremony at the country’s Supreme Court.

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Pompeo touts ‘historic’ South American condemnation of Maduro

Joel Gehrke

January 12, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro faces ‘historic’ condemnations from his neighbors in South America, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said with approval on Saturday.

“If you see the statements the countries in the region of Venezuela have made about the illegitimacy of the Maduro regime, these are historic statements, very much different than they did in previous times,” Pompeo told reporters while traveling in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The topic of Maduro intruded upon an aggressive diplomatic tour of the Middle East, as the Venezuelan strongman began a new six-year term Thursday. The milestone provoked a dramatic maneuver from a leading opposition legislator, the head of the marginalized Venezuelan National Assembly, who invoked his authority under the Venezuelan constitution to assume the role of the president when necessary to oversee new elections.

 

“The activities that are ongoing in Venezuela are incredibly important,” said Pompeo. “The Maduro regime is illegitimate, and the United States continues to do as we have for the now almost two years of this administration, work diligently to restore a real democracy to that country."

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