In Venezuela, President Nicolás Maduro was inaugurated Thursday to a second 6-year term, overseeing an economy that’s in freefall amidst U.S.-led economic sanctions aimed at ending his presidency. Maduro has accused the U.S.—along with Canada and 12 Latin American allies—of plotting a coup against his socialist government. Maduro repeated the claim at Thursday’s inauguration.
President Nicolás Maduro: “Venezuela is the center of a world war of U.S. imperialism and its allied governments. And they have tried to turn this formal, legal, constitutional and peaceful ceremony into a world war against our country.”
The U.S. and its allies have refused to recognize Maduro’s presidency, calling last year’s election illegitimate. Other Latin American leaders, including Evo Morales of Bolivia, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, welcomed Maduro’s re-election and joined Thursday’s inauguration in Caracas. The Trump administration has continued to ratchet up sanctions against Venezuela, even as its economy faces hyperinflation, with severe shortages of food and medicine. About 3 million Venezuelans have left the country in recent years, with many settling in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.