January 10, 2019 / 4:45 PM / 11 days ago

Paraguay cuts diplomatic ties with Venezuela after Maduro sworn in

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro is sworn in by Venezuela's Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno, during the ceremonial swearing-in for his second presidential term, at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela January 10, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

ASUNCION (Reuters) - Paraguayan President Mario Abdo said on Thursday he was cutting diplomatic ties with Venezuela and was immediately withdrawing his country’s diplomats from Caracas.

Abdo made the announcement just minutes after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was sworn into a new term in office. Maduro has shrugged off global criticism that his leadership is illegitimate due to last year’s disputed election.

“There are no bad consequences when defending just causes,” Abdo said in a television address. “The cause of liberty and democracy is a just cause.”

Reporting by Mariel Cristaldo,; Writing by Ross Colvin; Editing by Hugh Bronstein

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