President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela was greeted by a symphony orchestra at the pro-government Supreme Court where he was sworn in for a second, 6-year term.
Maduro replaced Hugo Chavez after his death in 2013 and won a new six-year term in elections largely boycotted by opposition parties last year.
There were few foreign dignitaries present as the Organization of American States voted on Thursday not to recognize the legitimacy of Maduro's second term. The organization adopted a resolution presented by Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, the United States, Paraguay and Peru.
'Mockery of democracy'
Argentina and Peru went one step further and cut back on their diplomatic ties with Venezuela. President Mauricio Macri made his opinion clear via Twitter: "Nicolas Maduro today is making a mockery of democracy. Venezuelans know it, the world knows it. Venezuela lives under a dictatorship."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would keep up pressure on the Maduro government: "It is time for Venezuelan leaders to make a choice," Pompeo said. "Now is the time to convince the Maduro dictatorship that the moment has arrived for democracy to return to Venezuela."
Oil-rich Venezuela was once one of Latin America's richest states but oil production has plummeted, up to 3 million people have left the country as mismanagement and corruption have damaged an economy hit by hyperinflation.
The political opposition is severely constrained as Maduro continues to enjoy the support of the military.
jm/rc (Reuters, AP)