Washington, D.C.- US lawmakers of Hispanic and Latino descent are reacting to reports of Venezuela’s Supreme Court invalidating recently held opposition primaries.
Earlier this month, Venezuelan opposition parties hosted a primary with record participation in which Maria Corina Machado emerged overwhelmingly victorious.
Machado won the primaries despite being barred by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government from running for political office.
Now, Venezuela’s Supreme Court has announced it will be nullifying the results of the primary.
The top court’s decision could jeopardize oil sanctions relief promised by the United States in exchange for free and fair presidential elections in Venezuela in 2024.
As reported by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres, the Biden administration agreed to partially lift economic sanctions maintained against Venezuela.
The sanction relief followed a deal between representatives of the Maduro regime and the Venezuelan opposition paving the way for freer presidential elections. However, the Maduro-controlled Supreme court’s decision to invalidate the opposition’s presidential primaries undermines the deal's goal of freer Venezuelan democratic electoral process.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl) called for the US to backtrack sanction relief given Venezuela’s recent actions.
“Let there be no doubt: Maduro had no intention of upholding the Oct 17th agreement & the result of the elections. The U.S. should reverse all sanctions relief,” said Senator Rubio.
The criminal Maduro narco-regime will stop at nothing to diminish @MariaCorinaYA's overwhelming victory in the opposition’s primary election.
Let there be no doubt: Maduro had no intention of upholding the Oct 17th agreement & the result of the elections. The U.S. should reverse… https://t.co/6o4CrQKUsI
— Senator Marco Rubio (@SenMarcoRubio) October 30, 2023
Similarly, US Representative Maria-Elvira Salazar called on President Joe Biden to immediately revoke promises to lift sanctions on Maduro’s regime.
Salazar claimed “Biden must respond with concrete actions. If he does not do so, he will abandon María Corina and the cause of freedom in Venezuela.”
Maduro sigue atacando a la oposición. El Supremo chavista suspendió “los efectos” de la primaria. La dictadura se porta como lo que es: una dictadura.
Biden debe responder con acciones concretas. Si no lo hace, abandonará a María Corina y a la causa de la libertad en Venezuela.
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) October 30, 2023