US condemns Maduro's 2nd term as president

Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro's inauguration for a second term today in Caracas has left a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the country as the United States denounced his re-election along with
other countries as fraudulent.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompano issued a statement denouncing Maduro and his inauguration.

"The United States condemns Maduro’s illegitimate usurpation of power today following the unfree and unfair elections he imposed on the Venezuelan people on May 20, 2018," Pompano stated.

 "The United States remains steadfast in its support of the Venezuelan people and will continue to use the full weight of U.S. economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of Venezuelan democracy."

Despite the humanitarian crisis faced by Venezuela and the voices of denunciations, Maduro will embark on a second term until 2025.

There was widespread criticism following the May 2018 elections in which allegations of fraud and electoral rigging had surfaced.

The US said they were holding steadfast and would only support the Venezuela National Assembly, " the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people. It is time for Venezuela to begin a transitional process that can restore the constitutional, democratic order by holding free and fair elections that respect the will of the Venezuelan people."

The United States said they had recently taken against Maduro and his enablers by imposing "sanctions on seven individuals and 23 entities involved in a corruption scheme to exploit Venezuela’s currency exchange practices."

They accused these persons of rigging the system in their favour and stealing $2.4 billion as the Venezuelan people starved.

"We applaud the initiative by the new National Assembly leadership to work with the international community to recover these and other stolen funds and to use them to relieve the suffering of Venezuela’s people. The United States will continue to play an active role towards this end."

The US indicated it was the duty of Venezuelan leaders to make a choice.

"We urge those who support this regime, from every day employees getting by on food subsidies to the Venezuelan security forces sworn to support the constitution, to stop enabling repression and corruption and to work with the National Assembly and its duly elected leader, Juan Guaido, in accordance with your constitution on a peaceful return to democracy."

- by Mark Bassant

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