Venezuela President Maduro sworn in for second term

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro shows a map while he speaks during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro shows a map while he speaks during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

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.

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.

After the inauguration ceremony, Maduro said the ceremony "was a peace step for the country".

"Sometimes it's hard to find food because businesses hide it and then say it's the president's fault, even though we all know that's a lie", said Graciela Laya, 43, a homemaker, at a rally near the Supreme Court. Inflation is soaring, internal political divisions are deepening and millions of Venezuelans have left the country.

The ceremony included the presence of all the public leaders, except those from the National Assembly, the majority of which are from the opposing party.

The U.S. and 13 other countries in the Americas said last week that they would not recognize Maduro's presidency.

Foreign leaders included Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Bolivia's Evo Morales, and Cuba's Miguel Díaz-Canel, as well as diplomats from other authoritarian regimes such as Russia, China, and Iran.

Maduro was elected with 67.84 percent of the votes. Some said Maduro should do more to crack down on business leaders for raising prices.

Others, like 52-year-old construction worker Ramon Bermudez, have lost hope of escaping Maduro's rule.

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Bermudez, 52, disagrees and points out the irony of living in a nation with the world's most abundant oil reserves yet having to wait in line overnight recently to fill three canisters of natural gas to cook at home.

But while the opposition has tried every means to dislodge Maduro, it remains fractured and protests left 200 people dead while a request for a referendum was rejected.

In May, Maduro declared victory following an election that his political opponents and many foreign nations consider illegitimate because popular opponents were banned from running and the largest anti-government parties boycotted the race.

The opposition-led Congress opened its session for the year this week, led by 35-year-old Juan Guaido, who vowed to battle against Maduro.

He conveyed President Xi's honest congratulations and good wishes to Maduro.

The EU remains convinced that a peaceful political democratic solution is the only sustainable way out of the Venezuelan crisis and is engaging with global and regional partners regarding how we might help create the conditions required for a credible political process amongst relevant Venezuelan actors.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would keep up pressure on the Maduro government: "It is time for Venezuelan leaders to make a choice", Pompeo said.

David Smilde, a Tulane University professor and expert on Venezuela, said that sanctions aren't likely to create change. The UN has said more than five million will have fled by the end of this year.

"He still has control of the institutions", Smilde said.

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