Maduro victory in Venezuela undemocratic

Pauline Gross
January 13, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will begin his second mandate on Thursday plagued by accusations of illegitimacy and increasing worldwide isolation in a country crippled by an economic crisis.

Hatami told reporters that Iran attaches importance to expanding all-out ties with "friendly and brotherly" country of Venezuela.

A day earlier, Maduro warned that his country was facing a coup attempt ordered by the Donald Trump administration and the so-called Lima Group, the anti-Venezuelan organization founded in 2016 and includes 14 American states who are led by right-wing governments. Juan Carlos Lamas reports from Caracas.

Argentina has implemented measures to counter the Venezuelan government, agreed upon by the Lima Group, including the introduction of an entry ban for high-ranked Venezuelan officials, the Argentinian Foreign Ministry said.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores stop to greet flag-waving children upon arrival to the Supreme Court for Maduro's inauguration ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, Jan. 10, 2019.

Maduro used his speech to call for a summit of Latin American leaders to discuss "with an open agenda all the issues that need to be discussed, face to face!"

He was re-elected in May a year ago, in a poll that had initially been planned for December.

Canada joined the United States and 17 Latin American governments in rejecting the legitimacy of the new Maduro government. US banks are also banned from doing business with Venezuela, putting a financial strangle-hold on the cash-strapped country.

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Neighbouring Bolivia, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Cuba expressed their support for the election results.

The socialist leader, 56, has dismissed talk of foul play, saying opponents "must leave us alone to govern".

Since taking office he has faced criticism at home and overseas over alleged human rights abuses and his handling of the economy, which is in a parlous state.

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". In response, the government has printed more money, devaluing the currency further.

He's not alone. The United Nations says 2.3 million people have left the country since 2015 in one of the biggest ever migration movements in the region.

Anti-government politicians successfully rallied thousands to the streets across Venezuela for four months of demonstrations in 2017, when clashes with government forces left more than 120 protesters dead and thousands injured.

Mr Maduro told reporters past year that the USA was plotting to kill him and topple his government, but did not produce any evidence.

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