1706557834 Maria Corina Machado challenges Chavismo and maintains her presidential candidacy

María Corina Machado challenges Chavismo and maintains her presidential candidacy despite the court veto

Maria Corina Machado challenges Chavismo and maintains her presidential candidacy

María Corina Machado insisted this Monday to maintain her candidacy for this year's Venezuelan presidential elections, despite Chavismo confirming, through Jorge Rodríguez, president of the Assembly, that she was vetoed by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), a judicial body, which is controlled by President Nicolás Maduro and his entourage. Machado's suspension, confirmed last week, has raised renewed alarm in the international community, which had struggled to ensure that Venezuela would find a way out of its political crisis with the celebration of a free country through the Barbados agreements between the parties Opposition had a chance of winning. Machado is the main anti-Chavismo candidate and is ahead of Maduro in published polls.

The opposition leader, around whom the unity platform has rallied, has assured that she will not give up the election campaign. “The replacement candidate is the plan of those who don't want change,” said Machado, who was elected on October 22 last year with 92% of the vote in primaries attended by more than two million people. “Nicolás Maduro will not elect the popular candidate because the people have already decided who his candidate is. The path will be full of obstacles and temptations and they will try to demoralize us, divide us and push us out of the limelight, and that is what we cannot allow,” she said, surrounded by leaders of various political parties.

The process of agreements reached by Venezuela and the United States to open a democratic path in the country had advanced in recent months, but appears to be at a standstill again following the maneuver of Chavismo that prevents Machado from participating through an unconstitutional procedure to stall the accusation of being part of a corruption plot linked to the transitional government of exiled leader Juan Guaidó. The United States became the catalyst in the negotiations by agreeing to a six-month easing of oil sanctions in return for the release of American prisoners and the establishment of a mechanism to lift political disqualifications that the government has used in recent years to close the path to its opponents. The main name on the table was Machado, the only candidate with a real chance of defeating Chavismo. Washington now says the TSJ's decision against Machado and also against Henrique Capriles Radonski, who was also prevented from competing, undermines democracy and has said it will review its sanctions policy.

Brussels made a similar statement: “The European Union is very concerned about the recent events in Venezuela and the confirmation by the Supreme Court of the disqualification of the opposition politicians María Corina Machado and Henrique Capriles for the next presidential elections.” Decisions aimed at disqualifying opposition figures from the Preventing people from exercising their basic political rights can only undermine democracy and the rule of law,” said Peter Stano, the EU’s chief spokesman for foreign and security policy. Brussels has called on the parties to return to the Barbados agreements, something opposition representatives have also said.

Chavismo has stated that the TSJ's decision is final and therefore irrevocable. This Monday, the head of the government delegation at the Norwegian-sponsored talks indicated that the dialogue with the opposition was in the process of “revival” and announced that they were ready to take a next step towards the establishment of the review commission to do. Agreement . “Dialogue does not replace the laws of the Republic or the Constitution,” stressed the parliamentary speaker, who assured that there would be presidential elections in 2024.

Chavismo has denounced a series of alleged plots to assassinate Nicolás Maduro and accused opposition leaders and US authorities of being involved. This led him to launch a persecution of Machado's entourage, which ended with the imprisonment of five of his collaborators, who were missing for five days.

Maduro and the leadership have once again played hardball to stay in power. The Barbados agreements, full of inaccuracies and an open outcome, seem to bring the situation once again into a stalemate with few possibilities for democratization in Venezuela, where not only free and transparent elections with international election observation are necessary, but also a re-institutionalization of all powers , who are part of Maduro's political machine.

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