President Maduro has been sworn into his second term as President of Venezuela following what many believed to be a rigged election last May. The citizens of Venezuela were angered over the change of election dates from December to May, inhibiting citizens from making it to the polls. There is also reason to suspect that opposition candidates were imprisoned or forced to flee Venezuela, ensuring Maduro’s reelection. Many Nations such as the U.S. have therefore refused to acknowledge Maduro’s presidency.
According to the BBC, the U.S. Mission to the UN deemed the the elections “an insult to democracy,” on the basis that a nation cannot claim to be democratic while making a disgrace of the electoral process. National Security Advisor John Bolton also stated on National Public Radio (NPR) that “the United States will not recognize the “illegitimate inauguration.”
The United States is not alone in this; Paraguay’s President Marito Abdo also issued a statement on Twitter to say that the government would not recognize Maduro’s Presidency, and that Paraguay will further be cutting off diplomatic relations with Venezuela. According to the BBC, “Five Latin American countries and Canada have asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Venezuela for crimes against humanities, including torture and the arbitrary detention of anti-government protesters.” As stated in AP News, seventeen Latin American nations, and Canada have denounced Maduro as president and his administration as illegitimate.
Amidst the outrage, however, President Maduro does have some support. For example, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Bolivian President Evo Morales were some of the high officials in attendance at his swear-in ceremony. Nicolás Maduro retains he is a man of the people and has celebrated his reelection.
I commend nations such as the U.S., Canada, and Paraguay for not recognizing Nicolás Maduro’s presidency. We must work to uphold democracy and fair elections unlike those held in Venezuela. I urge more nations to denounce Maduro, as he has arrested his opposers and has assumed a dictatorial role in Venezuela. He has blatantly abused his powers as President, as can be seen in the arrest of opposition leader Juan Guaidó on the morning of January 13, and the political climate will surely only worsen with Maduro in power.
World leaders need to denounce Maduro’s claim to the presidency and bring to light the injustices caused by him. We must promote democracy always. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”