Paraguay Cuts Ties With Venezuela

Paraguay’s president says his country has broken diplomatic relations with Venezuela because it doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s re-election.

The announcement came almost immediately after Maduro took the oath of office in Caracas.

Paraguay’s Mario Abdo Benitez said his country is closing its embassy in Venezuela and immediately withdrawing its diplomats.

12:55 P.M.

The Organization of American States has voted not to recognize the legitimacy of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has just taken the oath of office for a second six-year term.

The organization’s Permanent Council took the vote in Washington, adopting a resolution presented by Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the United States, Paraguay and Peru.

Venezuela’s Ambassador Samuel Moncada called the measure adopted Thursday “a hostile act … against the will of our nation.”

The vote was 19 in favor, eight abstentions and six against.

Many nations have denounced Maduro’s recent re-election as profoundly unfair.

12:15 p.m.

Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro has taken the oath of office for his second six-year term.

Thursday’s swearing-in comes amid widespread international condemnation over allegations that his election was undemocratic.

In his remarks, Maduro vowed to continue the socialist revolution under way for two decades.

Maduro’s popularity has plunged amid scarcities of basic goods, hyperinflation and rising authoritarianism that have sparked a mass emigration.

A the United States and a dozen Latin American countries reject Maduro’s legitimacy, saying he rigged the election granting him another six-year term.

Presidents of Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua attended the inauguration to support Maduro.

5 a.m.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is being sworn in to a second term Thursday amid international calls for him to step down and a devastating economic crisis. But there will be some long-time friends in attendance both from abroad and at home.

A dozen Latin American governments and Canada have rejected the legitimacy of Maduro’s next term, and Washington has sanctioned top officials in his government. But Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Bolivian President Evo Morales are coming to Caracas to show their support.

Maduro’s popularity has plunged amid scarcities, hyperinflation and rising authoritarianism that have sparked a mass emigration. Still, supporters who receive government subsidies in shantytowns continue to back the man who took over for the late Hugo Chavez.

This article provided by NewsEdge.