Caracas: Nicolas Maduro was once again sworn in as Venezuela’s President for a second term, from 2019 to 2025, here on Thursday.
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.
Last year, many states had dubbed the Venezuelan presidential elections held in May as ‘illegitimate’.
Earlier in the day, spokeswoman for European Union foreign policy Federica Mogherini asserted that the EU and its member states would not send representatives to the inauguration of Venezuelan President.
A press statement released by the US State Department further condemned Maduro’s illegitimate usurpation of power on Thursday, following the allegedly unfree and unfair elections he imposed on the Venezuelan people on May 20, 2018.
“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, the statement read.
“Today, we reiterate our support for Venezuela’s 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 statement added.
The US also took aggressive action against the Maduro regime and its enablers. On January 8, it imposed sanctions on seven individuals and 23 entities involved in a corruption scheme to exploit Venezuela’s currency exchange practices.
“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 statement further noted.
“We also have implemented and will continue to impose visa revocations and other restrictions for current and former Venezuelan government officials and their family members believed to be responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses, acts of public corruption, and the undermining of democratic governance. We will not allow them to act without consequence or enjoy their ill-gotten gains in the United States – and urge other countries to act likewise,” the statement said.