Lawmakers Denounce Maduro Preventing Opposition Candidate's Registration

Lawmakers Denounce Maduro Preventing Opposition Candidate's Registration

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
March 29, 2024

Venezuelan opposition party Democratic Unitary Platform (DUP) announced Tuesday they were unable to register their preferred candidate for Venezuela’s upcoming presidential elections. 

The announcement arrived after months of failed negotiations between President Joe Biden’s administration, Venezuelan regime leader Nicolas Maduro, and DUP officials. 

 President Biden had spearheaded an effort to convince Maduro’s regime to permit for democratic elections to occur in Venezuela.

As part of Biden’s initiative, the US was leveraging sanctions on Venezuelan oil exports to pressure Maduro into permitting free and fair elections. 

Maduro initially accepted Biden’s sanctions relief offer and pledged to permit democratic elections. 

However, shortly thereafter, the Maduro-controlled Venezuelan Supreme Court decided to indefinitely disqualify opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.  

Machado overwhelmingly won the Venezuelan opposition party’s recent primary elections. 

Following Machado’s invalidation, Maduro’s regime has persecuted opposition figures connected to her. 

US Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) called for Biden to immediately impose new sanctions upon hearing of Maduro’s definitive block of Machado’s candidacy. 

“Biden needs to stop playing Maduro’s game & reimpose sanctions NOW,” said Senator Scott via X. 

Recently, the Argentinian Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, reported it had begun sheltering political dissidents targeted by the Maduro regime.

In response, the Venezuelan government allegedly cut water and electricity to the embassy. 

US Representative Maria Elvira-Salazar (R-FL) commended Argentinian President Javier Milei for protecting the Venezuelan opposition officials despite pressure from Maduro’s regime. 

“(Milei) did not sit idly by. Sent soldiers to guard the embassy. It is a brave gesture that the free world appreciates,” said Representative Salazar. 

The Biden administration has yet to comment on Maduro’s latest undemocratic practices.

The administration’s last action was to reimpose gold sanctions while warning oil and gas sanctions relief will be allowed to expire on April 18 unless Machado is allowed to run.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

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

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