Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro holds up a small copy of the constitution as he speaks during his swearing-in ceremony at the Supreme Court in Caracas. Maduro was sworn in to a second term amid international calls for him to step down and a devastating economic crisis. (Ariana Cubillos/Associated Press)

Canada’s biggest labour union announces support for Venezuela’s Maduro

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While the Canadian government was among the first to recognise Juan Guaidó as the President of the financially beleaguered country, Canada’s biggest union has gone the other way and have offered their support for elected President Nicolas Maduro

On their website, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) says in a statement regarding the Trudeau government support of self-declared president Guaidó, “..they have chosen to side with a self-declared leader over President Nicolás Maduro, who was duly elected by the people of Venezuela. They have also chosen to side with Donald Trump and US foreign policy”.

It goes on to say that Venezuelans should decide their future and Canada has an important role to play in providing humanitarian support. The statement warns the Canadian government about meddling in the affairs of Venezuela saying CUPE “rejects any attempt by the Canadian government to interfere with the democratic processes and sovereignty of the Venezuelan people,”

Maduro won a second term as president on January 10th, although the election process was widely condemned by the opposition under Guaido, and by several foreign countries like the U.S., Canada, and the European Union.

Venezuelans crowd along the Simon Bolivar International Bridge on a daily basis to cross into Colombia. Thousands are estimated to be leaving daily to escape economic hardship and soaring inflation (Michelle Gagnon/CBC News)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has also backed Maduro, in a country wracked by economic and political turmoil.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have left the country and flooded into neighbouring Colombia and Peru, where the influx has been causing problems accommodating them.

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