Home News Venezuela briefly opened up to fair elections, but the situation reversed again

Venezuela briefly opened up to fair elections, but the situation reversed again

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Venezuelan officials have withdrawn their invitation to the European Union to observe the upcoming July 28 presidential election, another sign that President Nicolas Maduro is unlikely to give up power despite allowing opposition candidates to run against him.

After months of intensified repression — barring legitimate challengers from running in elections, jailing political opponents and cracking down on civil society — the country’s electoral authorities surprised many in April by allowing former diplomat Edmundo González to register as an opposition candidate.

Venezuela’s government is reeling from U.S. and European Union sanctions on the country’s vital oil industry, and some experts say Maduro allowed Gonzalez to run only because it could help him convince Washington and its allies to ease sanctions.

European Council President Elvis Amoroso said in a televised broadcast that he would withdraw the invitation until the EU lifts its “unilateral, genocidal, coercive sanctions imposed against our people.”

He added: “It would be immoral to allow them to participate knowing that they are engaging in neo-colonialism and interventionism towards Venezuela.”

The EU said In a statement It said it “deeply regrets the unilateral decision” of the Election Commission and called on the government to reconsider its decision.

Venezuela The economy collapsed nearly a decade agoProvoked one of the largest displacements in Latin American history: More than seven million Venezuelans are abandoning their country in droves, sparking a northward migration that has become a dominant theme in the U.S. presidential campaign.

Three opinion polls conducted in the country showed a majority of respondents planned to vote for González. But there were widespread doubts whether Maduro would allow such a result to become public — or, if it did, whether he would accept it.

Maduro’s government has arrested and jailed 10 opposition members this year. Arrest warrants have been issued for five more, who are holed up in the Argentine embassy in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital.

A proposal in the legislature would also allow the government to suspend opposition campaigns at any time. Unable to People are unable to register to vote because of the high costs and onerous requirements.

Maduro, 61, the political heir to Venezuela’s socialist movement led by Hugo Chavez, has consolidated power since his first victory in 2013. He effectively controls the legislature, the military, the police, the judiciary, the national electoral council, the state budget and much of the media, as well as violent paramilitary gangs. collective.

He and his inner circle were also accused Systematic human rights violations constitute crimes against humanity – including killings, torture and sexual violence.

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