The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, was sworn in for his second term January 10, after winning the presidential elections May 20, 2018. Maduro will therefore hold office until January 9, 2025. However, his new presidency takes place in the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, conflicts between the ruling party and the opposition, and international criticism for the lack of a division of powers and the non-transparency of the May presidential elections.
President Maduro maintained that Venezuela is a democracy, in contrast to the beliefs of other countries in the region including Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru. To support the claim he cited that in 19 years of Chavism there have been 25 elections (presidential, legislative and local). He also justified the fact that the inauguration of his latest term as president took place in the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) as opposed to the National Assembly, where it would normally occur, stating that the latter was in contempt of court. “We begin a new chapter of our history today. Venezuela is going to continue along the path of democracy and prosperity,” Maduro said.
Six Latin American countries recognize Maduro’s new mandate
The governments of Nicaragua, Bolivia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico and Uruguay are the only countries in the region to recognize President Maduro’s second term. The leaders of the first four of those countries attended Maduro’s inauguration ceremony. In contrast, the OAS passed a resolution the same day declaring the Venezuelan government illegitimate and calling for new elections. The resolution was endorsed by 19 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the United States and Peru. In addition, Paraguay broke off diplomatic relations with Venezuela.
Should you wish to learn more about the background – economic, political, social, regional – against which the inauguration of Maduro’s next term as president took place in Venezuela, do please read the following report prepared by Directorio Legislativo. The report discusses the Venezuelan economy, the power of the ruling party, the role of the opposition and the regional context, among other issues.