On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was inaugurated for one more, much-disputed six-year term whilst his nation grapples with an enormous humanitarian catastrophe that has prompted thousands and thousands to flee.

Washington responded to Maduro’s inauguration by speaking a tricky sport: U.S. officers have referred to as Maduro illegitimate and a dictator. Vice President Pence mentioned this week that the Venezuelan chief’s swearing-in was “a sham.”

And on Saturday, a day after the top of the nation’s opposition-run Nationwide Meeting, Juan Guiado, introduced that he was prepared and prepared to face in as a short lived president of the nation, State Division spokesman Robert Palladino provided Washington’s support to the legislative body.

“It’s time to start the orderly transition to a brand new authorities,” Palladino mentioned. “We help the Nationwide Meeting’s name for all Venezuelans to work collectively, peacefully, to revive constitutional authorities and construct a greater future.”

However Geoff Ramsey, assistant director for Venezuela on the Washington Workplace on Latin America, mentioned the U.S. authorities is selecting its phrases intentionally and is engaged in a “cautious little dance” in Venezuela. The US could say that Maduro lacks a authentic mandate, he mentioned, however has stopped in need of really slicing off diplomatic relations with the nation.

That is partly as a result of america nonetheless receives a big quantity of oil from Venezuela, Ramsey mentioned, that means america “nonetheless has a sure financial curiosity in sustaining a presence in Caracas.” Totally slicing off diplomatic ties might additionally hinder the prospects of a politically negotiated answer, he added.

Final October, america imported 17.6 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum merchandise from Venezuela, in response to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

On Thursday, simply after Maduro’s inauguration, Paraguay announced it would cut diplomatic ties with Venezuela and withdraw its diplomats from Caracas. And this week, 19 international locations on the Group of American States’ everlasting council, together with america, voted in favor of not recognizing Maduro’s new term. After Guiado introduced he was prepared to step in as interim president, Luis Almagro, president of the OAS, tweeted that he welcomed the transfer.

U.S. nationwide safety adviser John Bolton said the United States supports Guaido’s “brave resolution” to acknowledge that “Maduro doesn’t legitimately maintain the nation’s presidency.” However once more, Bolton stopped in need of really recognizing him as Venezuela’s interim president.

Maduro, for his half, has up to now refused to cave to the home and worldwide strain. Earlier than his inauguration this week, the embattled president informed reporters that Washington is planning a coup towards him. “I inform our civilians and our army to be prepared,” he mentioned. “Our individuals will reply.”

And as The Washington Post reported this week, there’s little optimism left amongst Venezuelans who’ve stayed in Caracas. “Everyone seems to be determined, and our state of affairs is loopy,” Morelia Salazar, a 23-year-old, informed The Publish. “However Maduro desires to disregard it and keep.”

Learn extra:

Venezuela’s crisis is so bad that people are abandoning their beloved pets

Venezuela’s crisis deepens by the day. But Maduro is celebrating the start of six more years in office.

A lonely quest for survival, the elderly left behind in Venezuela

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