US VOWS TO PRES­SURE VENEZUELA’S ‘IL­LE­GIT­I­MATE’ MADURO

Observer on Saturday - - News -

– The Unit­edS­tatesonThurs­day re­fused to recog­nise Venezue­lanPres­i­den­tNi­co­lasMaduro’s le­git­i­macy as he started a con­tro­ver­sial new term and urged rank-and­fi­le­gov­ern­mentem­ploy­eestoem­power the op­po­si­tion.

“The US will not recog­nise the Maduro dic­ta­tor­ship’s il­le­git­i­mate in­au­gu­ra­tion,” na­tional se­cu­rity ad­vi­sor John Bolton tweeted.

“We will con­tinue to in­crease pres­sure on the cor­rupt regime, sup­port the demo­cratic Na­tional Assem­bly, and call for democ­racy and free­dom in Venezuela,” he wrote.

Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo called on Venezue­lans to work not with Maduro but with the Na­tional Assem­bly, which is con­trolled by the op­po­si­tion but has been side­lined by a new Con­stituent Assem­bly cre­ated by Maduro’s govern­ment.

“We urge those who sup­port this regime, from ev­ery day em­ploy­ees get­ting by on food sub­si­dies to the Venezue­lan se­cu­rity forces sworn to

WASH­ING­TON

sup­port­the­con­sti­tu­tion,tostopen­abling re­pres­sion and cor­rup­tion and to work with the Na­tional Assem­bly and its duly elected leader, Juan Guaido, in ac­cor­dance with your con­sti­tu­tion on a peace­ful re­turn to democ­racy,” Pom­peo said in a state­ment.

“The Venezue­lan peo­ple and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity will re­mem­ber and judge your ac­tions. Now is the time to con­vince the Maduro dic­ta­tor­ship that the mo­ment has ar­rived fordemoc­ra­cy­tore­turn­toVenezuela,” he said.

“The Sec­re­tary re­in­forced the US com­mit­ment­totheNa­tion­alAssem­bly, the only le­git­i­mate and last demo­crat­i­cal­ly­electe­din­sti­tu­tion­inVenezuela, and the re-es­tab­lish­ment of democ­racy in Venezuela,” spokesper­son Robert Pal­ladino added.

Maduro was sworn in for a sec­ond six-year term un­der a cloud of sky­rock­et­ing in­fla­tion, shortages of ba­sic food and medicine and an ex­o­dus of Venezue­lans to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries, fol­low­ing an elec­tion that was boy­cotted by the op­po­si­tion.

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