Inauguration of Nicolas Maduro has solidified him as a dictator, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a scathing denunciation of the Venezuelan president that aligned Canada with major allies.
Freeland characterized Maduro's recent election victory as illegitimate as he was sworn in for a second term in Caracas. Canada joined the United States and 17 Latin American governments in rejecting the legitimacy of the new Maduro government.
"Having seized power through fraudulent and anti-democratic elections held on May 20, 2018, the Maduro regime is now fully entrenched as a dictatorship," Freeland said in a statement. "The suffering of Venezuelans will only worsen should he continue to illegitimately cling to power."
Canada has downgraded diplomatic relations with Venezuela and imposed sanctions on 70 officials in the regime.
Venezuela's political and economic crisis has forced three million people to flee their homes in search of food, health care and other basic services since 2015. Canada has provided $2.2 million in humanitarian assistance to Venezuela.