Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in to a second six-year term following an election that was widely considered illegitimate by a country in economic ruins.
But, in a bold move, the opposition party cited its constitutional powers and elected the head of the National Assembly to take over as acting president.
Juan Guaido was also sworn in, as the Interim President of Venezuela.
Venezuela is a country of 30 million people, about 20 percent of whom still support the Maduro government. It is also a country with inflation of one million percent per year, with 61 percent of Venezuelans live in extreme poverty. 89 percent say they do not have the money to buy enough food for their families; 64 percent say they have lost an average of 24 pounds due to hunger.
More than 3 million people have left a violent and decimated Venezuela–at least 7 percent of the population–according to the United Nations.
In response, Maduro broke off relations with the US and gave US diplomats 72 hours to leave Venezuela.
Nicolás Maduro was first elected in April 2013 after the death of his socialist mentor, former president Hugo Chávez.
During Maduro’s first term in office, the economy tanked. Still, in May, Maduro was re-elected to a second six-year term in an election widely considered to have been a sham.
the National Assembly asserts itself
The opposition-controlled National Assembly has continued to meet during the Maduro presidency, but its decisions have been ignored by the president in favor of those made by the Constituent Assembly, which was formed by Maduro as a way to consolidate his power.
The security forces are loyal to Maduro, who has kept them in key business positions, making plenty of money despite the country’s near-collapse.
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Then, ask yourself: should we militarily invade the country?