Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro to be inaugurated for second term

Nicolas Maduro

The United States on Thursday refused to recognise Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's legitimacy as he started a controversial new term and urged rank-and-file government employees to empower the opposition.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech during the ceremony of recognition by the Bolivarian National Armed Forces after being sworn in for a second term, at the Fuerte Tiuna Military Complex, in Caracas on January 10, 2019. Juan Carlos Lamas reports from Caracas.

A statement from Jamaica's foreign ministry yesterday noted that in the June resolution the island joined other member states in stating that their interest "has always and continues to be that of the well-being of the people of Venezuela".

Sputnik reported that the swearing-in ceremony took place inside the Supreme Court of Venezuela under Article 231 of the Venezuelan Constitution, as the National Assembly or the Parliament, which is controlled by the opposition, has been excluded from participating in the country's politics.

In making the announcement, Johnson Smith stated that the decision to retake the shares was premised on Venezuela not fulfilling its obligation to upgrade and expand Petrojam's plant, which, she said, posed a risk to the economy.

He won re-election previous year despite hyperinflation, chronic food shortages and a severe economic contraction.

It also argued that some of the most promising candidates had been banned from standing or jailed, while many others had fled the country.

Earlier this week, Supreme Court judge Christian Zerpa fled to the U.S. in protest at the president's second term, arguing that the election "was not free and fair".

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Neighbouring Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Cuba expressed their support for the election results.

Since taking office Maduro has been condemned at home and overseas for alleged human rights abuses and for his handling of the economy, which is in a state of near-collapse.

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

"Venezuela won't change with Maduro as president, we can't find medication, people are hungry", 23-year-old Gleidimir Pena told AFP before emigrating to Peru last week.

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

But while the opposition has tried every means to dislodge Maduro, it remains fractured and protests left 200 people dead while a request for a referendum was rejected.

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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