Rubio, Salazar Denounce Venezuelan Regime’s Ban of Government Challenger Machado

Rubio, Salazar Denounce Venezuelan Regime’s Ban of Government Challenger Machado

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
July 3, 2023

Florida Politicians have thrashed the Venezuelan government’s recent banning of Venezuelan Presidential hopeful Maria Corina Machado.

Machado has been actively campaigning against the current Nicolas Maduro regime in preparation for Venezuela’s upcoming 2024 presidential elections.

On June 30th, the Venezuelan government barred Machado from participating in the upcoming elections. Maduro’s regime cited Machado’s support for US sanctions against Venezuela and former regime opponent Juan Guaido as justifying her ban.

Machado has termed her ban as “useless” and as inciting increased citizen resentment towards the government.

“Now we will vote with more passion, rebelliousness, and desire in the Primaries,” said Machado.

International condemnation has followed her ban by the Venezuelan government. In the US, Senator Marco Rubio discredited the upcoming Venezuelan elections as “a complete scam”.

Senator Rubio denounced Machado’s banning and warned that “any organization or government that recognizes (Venezuelan) elections as legitimate is an accomplice of the regime.”

Additionally, United States State Department Spokesman Mather Miller lamented Machado’s banning.
“The United States supports the Venezuelan people’s constitutional right to elect their leaders via free and fair elections. Today’s decision to disqualify Maria Corina Machado from participating in the electoral process deprives the Venezuelan people of basic political rights,” said Miller.

However, in Florida, the White House’s lack of direct criticism towards the Venezuelan regime’s latest ploy has angered conservatives.

U.S. Representative Maria Salazar asked where the “loud and clear message from the Biden Administration was”.

“The United States has lost its compass to defend Democracy,” said Salazar.

Venezuela is subject to a barrage of US sanctions severely limiting many, if not all, Venezuelan exports from American shores. Chief among these are Venezuelan oil exports.

While the Biden administration has permitted increased oil transactions between Venezuela and the United States, the former’s oil aspirations in the West are still largely handicapped.

Lately, Venezuela has increased its ties with Russia over shared US Sanctions. Maduro hosted Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov last month and they agreed to expand cooperation in various areas, including oil, health, agriculture, and new technologies.

As such, Venezuela has imitated Russian strategies for offsetting losses derived from US sanctions on its oil exports. Both nations have become experts at skirting oil sanctions: re-directing crude exports to Asia rather than the West; recruiting undercover tankers that literally operate “under the radar” to illegally transport oil, and developing obscure supply chains that continue to keep oil flows, exports and cash coming in.


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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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