Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

World Leaders Begin to Arrive for Maduro Inauguration

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a press conference with foreign media at Miraflores presidential palace where an image of Venezuelan indepe Venezuela President Maduro sworn in for second term
Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2019, 19:25

President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela was greeted by a symphony orchestra at the pro-government Supreme Court where he was sworn in for a second, 6-year term.

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.

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.

Posters of Maduro hanging in the centre of the city declared "I am President".

"Today, we reiterate our support for Venezuela's National Assembly, the only legitimate branch of government duly elected by the Venezuelan people". He blew kisses at a welcoming party of children waving Venezuelan flags, and saluted supporters looking down from the building's multi-tiered galleries.

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

enLeaders of several countries of the world have already arrived to accompany the Head of State, including his counterparts in Cuba, Miguel Díaz Canel; of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and of El Salvador, Salvador Sánchez Cerén.

At a joint press conference, Hatami emphasized the interest of the Islamic Republic of Iran in expanding all-out ties with "friendly and brotherly" country of Venezuela, saying the Latin American state has played an active role in "anti-colonial struggles".

Bolivia's President Evo Morales waves as he arrives to the Supreme Court for the inauguration ceremony of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas Venezue

"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 a year ago to bypass parliament. "We hear the reports - the starvation in Venezuela, the incarceration of political opponents".

Venezuela's main opposition coalition said the election date had been changed to take advantage of disarray within opposition groups.

The economy in 2019 will continue to contract and inflation will skyrocket at a staggering 23 million per cent, forecasts Francisco Rodriguez, a former Venezuelan official who is now chief economist at New York-based Torino Capital. Maduro's government has jailed or driven into exile its most popular leaders.

Maduro claims the sanctions cost the country $20 billion in 2018.

An estimated 2.3 million people have fled hyperinflation, food and medical shortages over the last two years, according to the United Nations, most going to nearby Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

Anti-government riots in 2014 left 43 dead, and at least 125 people died in months of protests in 2017.

Venezuela, which sits atop the world's largest oil reserves, produced 3.5 million barrels of crude daily when Chavez took power.

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