Paraguay cuts diplomatic ties with Venezuela after Maduro sworn in

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a copy of the National Constitution while he speaks during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds a copy of the National Constitution while he speaks during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas Venezuela

Jamaica yesterday voted with 18 other members of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) to not recognise the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's second term as president of Venezuela.

But his first term saw an exodus of millions of people escaping economic meltdown.

In May, he declared victory in presidential 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.

"All that's left to do is raise your hand to heaven and ask God to help us", said Bermudez, camped out on a Caracas sidewalk with hundreds of others waiting for gas.

This only pushes further away the possibility of a constitutional negotiated solution while the political, economic and social situation in the country keeps getting worse and the impact of the crisis in the stability of the region is increasing.

Maduro denies that he's a dictator and often blames President Donald Trump of leading an economic war against Venezuela that's destroying the country.

Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gather around Supreme Court during his swearing-in ceremony, in Caracas, Venezuela.

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. He accuses foreign governments including Latin American nations of seeking to overthrow him. It produced 3.5 million barrels of crude daily when Chavez took power. Output has plummeted to less than a third of that.

As stated by the European Union in the Council Conclusions of May 2018, the presidential elections of last May in Venezuela were neither free, nor fair. Critics blame years of rampant corruption and mismanagement of the state-run oil company PDVSA.

An estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled, according to the United Nations.

Venezuela's splintered opposition movement has failed to counter the socialist party's dominance.

Many prominent opposition figures are either in jail or exile. Maduro remained squarely in power.

The opposition-led Congress opened its session for the year, led by 35-year-old Juan Guaido, who accused Maduro of "usurping the presidency".

"It is time for Venezuela to begin a transitional process that can restore the constitutional, democratic order by holding free and fair elections that respect the will of the Venezuelan people", U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

The Trump administration has increased pressure on Maduro through financial sanctions, this week singling out powerful Venezuelan media magnate Raul Gorrin. Ultimately, Maduro's government isn't anxious about its worldwide reputation, he said. The opposition says the government's control of foreign exchange, in place since 2003, has generated $300 billion in illicit gains.

"Venezuela has unfortunately become a threat to Colombia's national security", tweeted Marta Lucia Ramirez, the vice president of neighboring Colombia, which has taken in more Venezuelan refugees than any other country.

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