The United States does not recognize the legitimacy of powers of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who was inaugurated earlier this week, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said.
"The United States does not recognize Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro’s illegitimate claim to power. His 'election' in May 2018 was viewed internationally as not free, fair or credible," Bolton said in a statement issued by the White House press service on Friday.
"We hold the illegitimate Maduro regime directly responsible for the safety of all Venezuelans who cry out demanding to freely choose their leaders. We will continue to use the full weight of United States economic and diplomatic power to press for the restoration of a Venezuelan democracy that reverses the current constitutional crisis," Bolton pointed out.
Maduro was sworn in for his second term, which will last through 2025, on Thursday following his victory in the presidential election last May. The United States has repeatedly criticized his policies, while the Venezuelan president has suggested that Bolton was preparing a plan to overthrow and kill him.