Caracas — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro begins a second term in office on Thursday, shrugging off international criticism that his re-election in 2018 was illegitimate but facing further isolation as an economic crisis fuels a humanitarian emergency. Leaders from the ruling Socialist Party have disavowed criticism of Maduro’s inauguration, which will keep him at the helm of the Opec oil exporter until 2025, and called for rallies in his support. Opposition leaders, however, have portrayed the inauguration as the moment at which Maduro will be internationally branded a dictator following a widely boycotted 2018 election that many foreign governments described as a farce. But continued support from the military, a fractured opposition and a relentless crackdown on opposition critics means that Maduro appears to face few serious challenges at home, despite the international outcry. “They’ve tried to turn a constitutional swearing-in ceremony into a world war,” Maduro said during ...

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