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US vows to pressure Venezuela's 'illegitimate' Maduro

AFP  |  Washington 

The on Thursday refused to recognize Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro's legitimacy and vowed to ramp up pressure as he starts a new term following a controversial re-election.

"The US will not recognize the Maduro dictatorship's illegitimate inauguration," 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.

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

The Lima Group -- a bloc of 14 Latin American powers and -- urged Maduro to renounce his term and hand over power to parliament, although Mexico's new leftist government stayed neutral.

The has also said that last year's election was marred by fraud and has extended sanctions. The has for years put pressure on Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez, with publicly musing about military intervention.

On Tuesday, the imposed its latest sanctions as it targeted seven Venezuelans allegedly involved in black-market currency exchanges that generated billions of dollars in illicit profits.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 22:11 IST