Venezuela's Maduro starts new term shunned by global community

Venezuela's Maduro starts new term shunned by global community

In a statement read Tuesday before the state television cameras, the general guaranteed the absolute loyalty of the military to Maduro, who is scheduled to be sworn in to a new six-year term on Thursday, despite the massive rejection of the global community.

State TV showed Maduro arriving at the Supreme Court where he is took the oath of office from Chief Justice Maikel Moreno.

Maduro was re-elected last May in voting boycotted by the majority of the opposition and dismissed as a fraud by the United States, European Union and Organization of American States.

Residents of Caracas awoke Thursday to unusually quiet streets but with a noticeably increased security presence and armed checkpoints. Hundreds of officials gathered inside the court's chambers cheered Maduro.

Canada slammed Maduro for transforming his country into a "fully entrenched dictatorship".

Governments around the world also described it as illegitimate. Some said Maduro should do more to crack down on business leaders for raising prices.

In 2017 President Trump stated that a military solution was on the cards for removing Maduro from power-40 countries have boycotted his inauguration believing that he was not elected legitimately.

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The hand-picked successor of Chavez won a second term in a May election that opponents and many in the global community reject as a sham. Meanwhile, Paraguay cut off diplomatic ties with Venezuela.

Maduro stressed that "Venezuela is a profoundly democratic country".

"Sometimes its hard to find food because businesses hide it and then say its 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.

Representatives from more than 90 countries, including Bolivian President Eva Morales and Cuban President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel, attended the ceremony.

Maduro has meanwhile threatened "diplomatic measures" against his regional detractors if they refuse to recognise his re-election. He accuses foreign governments including Latin American nations of seeking to overthrow him.

Hyperinflation, widespread hunger and deaths from preventable diseases in formerly oil-rich Venezuela have sparked an exodus of more than 3 million people, from a nation with a population of just over 30 million, Otis reports. Maduro's government has jailed or driven into exile its most popular leaders.

"Those who refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Venezuela's institutions will be given a reciprocal and opportune response, we'll act very firmly", said Maduro, who has the support of the military and the controversial Constitutional Assembly that he created past year to bypass parliament. The UN has said more than five million will have fled by the end of this year. The opposition says the government's control of foreign exchange, in place since 2003, has generated $300 billion in illicit gains.

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