Venezuelan opposition calls for support from international community

(Caracas) The leader of the opposition in Venezuela, Maria Corina Machado, declared ineligible for the July 28 presidential election, asked Friday for the support of the international community to obtain the registration as candidate of Corina Yoris, whom she designated to replace it.

“I call on the world’s democratic leaders to join the efforts of presidents and governments to demand that the regime of [Nicolas] Maduro allows the registration of Corina Yoris,” declared Machado on X.

“I thank Presidents Emmanuel Macron, Luiz Inacio Lula and Gustavo Petro for the positions they have taken in recent hours and which reaffirm that our struggle is just and democratic,” she adds.

Winner of the opposition primary, but declared ineligible, Maria Corina Machado had appointed to replace her a novice in politics, Corina Yoris, an 80-year-old academic.

But this could not be registered, without the National Electoral Council (CNE) giving an explanation, before the “provisional” candidacy of Edmundo Gonzalez Urrutia, a former ambassador and political scientist, was finally accepted.

Many suspect the CNE of having knowingly blocked its registration.

On Thursday, during a joint press conference in Brasilia, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva harshly criticized this exclusion.

“We very firmly condemn the exclusion of a serious and credible candidate from this process,” declared Mr. Macron, at the end of a three-day official visit to Brazil.

“We are calling for his reinstatement and I very much hope that we will be able to have a framework thus rebuilt in the coming weeks and months. Today we must not despair […]but the situation is serious and it has deteriorated by this decision that was taken,” he added.

Lula, for his part, considered it “serious” that Corina Yoris was not able to register for the vote as an opposition candidate to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, in power for 11 years.

“There is no legal or political explanation for prohibiting an opponent from being a candidate,” said the left-wing president.

The criticism echoed in Washington on Thursday. “The United States is not alone in being deeply concerned, our regional partners share this concern,” said State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller, calling for “free and fair” elections.

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