Nicolas Maduro Reiterates Legitimacy of New Presidential Term

Nicolas Maduro Reiterates Legitimacy of New Presidential Term

The national Assembly was the only "democratically elected Institution" in Venezuela, said USA state Department spokesman Robert Palladino.

"We are in the presence of an autocracy that has condemned to death anyone who opposes this particular vision of power", he continued, adding that Maduro's leadership "has only brought hunger, misery, and destruction to the country".

Zerpa surfaced publicly in Miami on Sunday, describing how he received directions from the influential first lady Cilia Flores on how to rule in politically sensitive cases.

Venezuela Supreme Court judge Christian Zerpa has fled to the United States to protest over President Nicolás Maduro's second term in office.

The election in question saw 8.6 million Venezuelans cast their votes on 20 May 2018 for their next president. Furthermore, it follows reports that AMLO invited Maduro to his presidential inauguration, marking a firm shift from Mexico's criticism of Venezuela under previous governments.

Socialist policies of Maduro and Chávez have crippled the oil-rich nation in less than two decades.

Zerpa, after his defection has also accused Maduro of "manipulating" the affairs of the Supreme Court and going to the extent of saying that major decisions made by the Supreme court had been dictated by the Maduro government.

Oil prices down despite Saudi export cuts
Meanwhile, expectations for a nationwide decline in United States crude inventories alleviated worries about a supply glut. Oil has gained almost 12 per cent since last Monday, its biggest week-on-week rally since early December 2016.

The 13 remaining countries in the Lima Group that signed Friday's statement, which include Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia, called Maduro's new term "illegitimate" and urged him to hand power over to the National Assembly until democratic elections can be held.

Zerpa said he is willing to cooperate with US authorities and offer his testimony on what he knows, including information about the "conduct of some leaders".

"In January he will tear down the presidency and, consequently, this national Assembly is the only legitimate representative of the people", said Guaidó after his swearing-in.

Although not a part of the Lima Group, Sputnik News reported that US State Secretary Mike Pompeo participated in the meeting via video conference, which has sparked accusations that the Lima Group are taking orders from US President Donald Trump.

He said the measure would take effect immediately.

It is also expected that the Argentine government will aim to reject worldwide organisations giving loans to Venezuela, something Argentina and Brazil have both already done by vetoing a US$500 million dollar loan which had previously been approved by the Development Bank of Latin America. "Venezuelans have the opportunity to enjoy 2019 as a year of prosperity and progress".

The United States, the European Union and a grouping of countries from the Western Hemisphere called the Lima Group have refused to recognize the election. "It's not fair that a whole country should perish to satisfy one man's lust for power".

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