Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

US Insists on Attacks against Venezuelan Government

Nicolas Maduro Venezuela President Maduro sworn in for second term
Kenny Thornton | 13 January, 2019, 16:40

The resolution was passed in Washington minutes after Maduro was sworn in for a second term in Caracas, Venezuela, and included a demand for new presidential elections - with all necessary guarantees of a free, fair, transparent, and legitimate process - to be held at an early date, attended by worldwide observers.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Thursday the United States will not recognize the "illegitimate" inauguration.

In a speech after his swearing-in, Maduro claimed 94 countries had sent representatives to his inauguration.

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.

He says he feels stronger and more legitimate than ever, but many blame him for Venezuela's economic woes, which have left much of the population living in poverty with shortages of basic foods and medicines.

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

Maduro's first agenda item for his second term is a ceremony at Venezuela's military academy, a telling symbol of the importance of armed forces.

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"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.

The resolution also underscored that the OAS Permanent Council and the Meeting of Consultation of Foreign Ministers remained ready to engage in diplomatic initiatives, including good offices, aimed at promoting dialogue in Venezuela, with a view to arriving at a political solution to the crisis in that country.

The country's pro-government Supreme Court, which has largely supplanted the opposition-run Congress, swore him in following a welcome with a symphony orchestra and cheering supporters waving miniature yellow, blue and red Venezuelan flags. Its natural wealth made it once one of Latin America's wealthiest countries, pumping 3.5 million barrels of crude daily when President Hugo Chavez took power and launched the socialist revolution.

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.

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. Maduro's government has jailed or driven into exile its most popular opposition leaders.

"It is time for Venezuela to begin a transitional process that can restore the constitutional, democratic order by holding free and fair elections", Pompeo said. The UN has said more than 5 million will have fled by the end of this year.

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