World Leaders Begin to Arrive for Maduro Inauguration

Cheryl Sanders
January 13, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro started a second, six-year term Thursday amid worldwide cries urging him to step down and return democratic rule to a country suffering a historic economic implosion.

The re-inauguration took place before the country's Supreme Court instead of its opposition-run Congress, which has been stripped of its powers since Maduro's ruling Socialist Party lost control of it in 2016.

"While the frozen assets stolen from a country's treasury would under normal circumstances be returned to that country, the kleptocratic nature of the Venezuelan regime makes it impossible to ensure that the funds would go to the benefit of the Venezuelan public", the report says.

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.

The military leadership expresses "its unrestricted support and absolute loyalty to (.) our commander-in-chief, for the period 2019 - 2025", said Padrino.

In his speech, Maduro emphasized the legitimacy of his government and urged other Latin American countries to acknowledge his second term.

But Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Bolivian President Evo Morales and President Anatoli Bibilov of a breakaway province of Georgia were among the foreign leaders who attended the ceremony at the country's Supreme Court.

The U.S. and 13 other countries in the Americas said last week that they would not recognize Maduro's presidency.

Minutes after Maduro was sworn in, Paraguayan President Mario Abdo tweeted that he was cutting diplomatic ties with Venezuela and immediately withdrawing his country's diplomats from Caracas.

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".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the USA would keep up pressure on the Maduro government: "It is time for Venezuelan leaders to make a choice", Pompeo said.

The Venezuelan President added that he hoped to receive the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis in Venezuela, "where you have the affection and gratitude of a people that cultivates fraternity with the other peoples of the world".

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.

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. Bermudez lives with his wife and two children but said many parents have bid farewell to their children rather than endure the crisis.

Many prominent opposition figures are either in jail or exile.

Other reports by iNewsToday