World leaders to skip Nicolas Maduro inauguration as Venezuela prepares for 'sham presidency'


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will be sworn-in for a second, six-year term on Thursday despite his country's continued economic spiral that has sparked the region's worst ever migration crisis.

Maduro's new term will bring further international presssure on Caracas as dozens of countries have called his May re-election fraudulent and pledged not to recognise his new government.

The European Union is expected to release a strongly worded warning hinting that further EU sanctions could be levied on the country, should the president continue to flout human rights and the rule of law.

Guy Verhofstadt, the influential MEP and leader of the liberals in the European Parliament, told the Telegraph, "The EU should no longer recognise the legality or legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's sham presidency."

The lack of international recognition will be apparent from the lack of foreign visitors inauguration ceremony for Maduro, due to be held at 10 am outside the Supreme Court building. Only Cuba and Bolivia have confirmed their presidents will attend, while a handful of other countries will send diplomats.

Plans to organize a mass boycott of the investiture ceremony by all 28 EU ambassadors to Venezuela appeared to have fallen foul of divisions in the bloc, however.

The Telegraph understands that the Spanish and Greek ambassadors will attend, but Britain's will not.

Other drastic proposals within Latin America, such as the withdrawal of diplomatic missions from the country or the appointment of a parallel president in exile, have also been rejected for now.

The isolation and new sanctions could also spark further defections from Maduro's government circle. On Saturday, former Supreme Tribunal Justice Christian Zerpa fled to the US, telling Miami broadcaster EVTV he was "disavowing" the Maduro government.

"I believe (Maduro) does not deserve a second chance because the election he supposedly won was not free and competitive," he said.

In his new term Maduro will deal with a country in disarray, facing an unprecedented economic crisis with some economists now projecting inflation to reach 10 million percent in 2019. Since 2015, UN figures show that three million Venezuelans have fled their country and two million could leave this year alone.

Even the most basic daily tasks have become nearly impossible; there are shortages of plastic for debit cards, the paper used for making passports, and shortages of medicines and foods continue. The currency is so worthless that vendors across the border in Colombia make bags and wallets using the bills.

"I want somebody to just take this regime out," said Jacqueline Torres, 48, outside of a Caracas bank on Wednesday. She had her husband had travelled an hour to Caracas and spent the morning going from bank to bank to get a new debit card, but none had the plastic needed.

Torres, who suffers from a back injury, wants to travel to Colombia for medical exams, but hasn't received her passport, even though she applied for the document a year ago.

"We're bad off, and they have kidnapped the public institutions," she said. "We can't do anything."

Many of the millions with plans to leave the country view Thursday's inauguration as the end of any hope for change.

"If I stay here, I won't be able to do what I want and won't be able to maintain myself," said Williams Blanco, 30, who plans to leave for Ecuador by bus in three months. "I haven't bought new shoes in three years, so that gives you an idea," said the freelance actor and producer.

To squash any discontent, Maduro will rely on the armed forces and paramilitary groups known locally as colectivos, as he did during 2017 street protests.

In the days preceding the inauguration, local media have reported caravans of government supporters, including masked men on truck beds, passing through downtown Caracas. In one of the city's most emblematic slums, traditionally a bastion of pro-government support, government supporters fired guns into the air on rooftops.

"We're defending the homeland with arms," colectivo leader Valentín Santana told local outlet Cronica Uno.


More Related News

Eight EU countries to phase out coal by 2030
Eight EU countries to phase out coal by 2030

Eight of the EU's 28 countries have pledged to phase out coal for electricity production by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, officials said Tuesday. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, received the pledges as contributions to the bloc's efforts to deliver on the 2015 Paris climate agreement. "More and more member states are making the political commitment to phase out coal in the next decade," EU climate and energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said.

EU nations receive mixed scorecard on climate goals
EU nations receive mixed scorecard on climate goals

The European Union called on its members to accelerate efforts to meet 2030 climate goals after a review showed them on track to meet the overall emissions reduction goal but falling short of other specific targets. As EU leaders debate whether to target going carbon neutral by 2050 at a summit later this week, the audit showed the 28-nation bloc on track to meet its headline pledge of cutting emissions by 40% by 2030. "Member States should collectively step up efforts to achieve the Union 2030 energy and climate goals, since continuation of existing policies at the same scale would not be sufficient to meet these targets," the European Commission said, calling for more details in the...

More EU leaders sign up to carbon net-zero goal by 2050 ahead of summit
More EU leaders sign up to carbon net-zero goal by 2050 ahead of summit

BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has joined a growing number of EU nations to back going carbon neutral by mid-century, EU documents show, building momentum for the bloc's leaders to agree the ambitious climate goal at a summit this week. Divisions remain among the bloc's 28 governments over the long-term net-zero emissions target, with many concerned a steeper pace of reductions could hurt competitiveness and cost jobs in high-employment sectors. U.N. negotiators hope the gathering of EU heads of state - the last before global climate talks in September - will show commitment to the 2015 Paris pact to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

EU leaders to debate push for zero emissions by 2050
EU leaders to debate push for zero emissions by 2050

EU leaders will this week discuss setting a target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, European officials said Monday, following elections that highlighted climate change fears. European Union leaders meeting Thursday and Friday in Brussels will debate the 2050 target of "climate neutrality" that the environmental group WWF says now has the support of 16 of the EU's 28 countries. "As the effects of climate change become more visible and pervasive, we urgently need to step up our action to manage this existential threat," a draft of the EU's strategic agenda for the next six years says.

Erdogan says drilling off Cyprus to continue despite warning
Erdogan says drilling off Cyprus to continue despite warning

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said Turkey would not back down from gas exploration in Cyprus after southern European leaders urged Ankara to stop. "We continue and will continue to search in those areas that are ours," Erdogan said during a televised speech in Istanbul. You will come off badly if you do so," Erdogan warned, after Cyprus reportedly issued arrests warrants for crew members of Turkey's drilling ship, Fatih, last week.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Latin America

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.