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Paraguay cuts diplomatic ties with Venezuela as Maduro starts new term

Paraguay President Mario Abdo on Jan. 10 said the country was severing diplomatic ties with Venezuela as President Nicolas Maduro was sworn into a new term amid a humanitarian, economic and political crisis, Reuters reported.

On Jan. 10 Maduro started a new six-year term as the leader of Venezuela after being re-elected in a controversial election process last year; both his domestic opposition and critics around the world claimed Maduro's election was invalid.

"There are no bad consequences when defending just causes," Abdo reportedly said in a televised address in which he announced the withdrawal of Paraguay's diplomats from the Venezuelan capital of Caracás. "The cause of liberty and democracy is a just cause."

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, meanwhile, said it agreed to a resolution "to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's new term," after having previously declared that the May 2018 election in Venezuela was illegitimate.

The multilateral organization also voiced its "deep" concern about the "worsening political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela resulting from the breakdown of democratic order and serious human rights violations in that state."