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Freeland says Venezuela's Maduro is now a dictator after illegitimate win

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores stop to greet flag-waving children upon arrival to the Supreme Court for Maduro's inauguration ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Maduro was sworn in to a second term amid international calls for him to step down and a devastating economic crisis. Behind is Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says today’s inauguration of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has entrenched him as a dictator.

Freeland’s remarks align Canada with the international community in condemning Maduro’s recent election victory as fraudulent and illegitimate.

She says the suffering of Venezuela’s people will only get worse the longer he is in power.

Canada has downgraded diplomatic relations with Venezuela and imposed sanctions on 70 officials in the regime.

Venezuela’s political and economic crisis has forced three million people to flee the country in search of food, health care and other basic services since 2015.

Canada has provided $2.2 million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuela and is a member of the Lima Group of countries that is trying to bring international pressure to bear on the South American country.

 

The Canadian Press