Biden condemns Venezuela for banning opposition leader from presidential candidacy

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Venezuela’s highest court authority recently blocked the presidential candidacy of opposition leader María Corina Machado, which has prompted the government of the United States, along with roughly 30 other world leaders, to condemn the decision.

This stance taken by the government in Venezuela has alarmed multiple nations, which see it as a threat to the election process in the nation. Even though the United States has asserted that it will look to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela if the integrity of the election process isn’t maintained, it has refrained from doing so up till this juncture.

Questions have also been raised about President Biden not committing to the pursuit of sanctions against Venezuela among international partners.

To assuage the doubts forming around the political situation in Venezuela, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, issued the following statement, “The United States is currently reviewing our Venezuela sanctions policy, based on this development and the recent political targeting of democratic opposition candidates and civil society.”

Tensions have been raised by the fact that Machado had won a presidential primary election held in October as a part of the opposition’s faction supported by the United States.

Despite a 15-year ban being placed on her candidacy, she won 90% of the votes following the official announcement that she would be entering the race in June.

The only reason she could take part in the primary elections was that the elections were organized by an independent commission that does not conform to the Venezuelan electoral authority.

A major section of her campaign was spent stating that the voters were the ones who have the right to decide whether she is worthy of a candidacy or not, while adding that she had received official notification of the ban.

The Venezuela Tribunal of Justice, decided to uphold the ban on Machado, citing accusations that she has committed tax violations and fraud. She has also been accused of siding with the economic sanctions which were imposed on Venezuela by the United States.

Three months prior to the ruling, the US backed opposition and the Maduro government had come to a consensus on how to conduct the incoming elections in a fair and unbiased manner.

This was meant to facilitate a process for appealing the ban on a presidential candidate, allow international electoral observers to ensure the integrity of the election process and lastly hold the elections in the second half of 2024.

Through this agreement, Venezuela managed to get the United States to roll back its economic sanctions on the oil, gas and mining sectors of the nations. This was seen as a significant step as Venezuela has access to some of the largest reserves of oil and gas in the world.

These reserves give Venezuela the potential to bring about immense economic and social change in the years to come.

Representatives of the US State Department have said that the decision issued by Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice goes completely against the commitments made to the United States by Maduro and other representatives of the government.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller, stated that the process for appealing the ban, “lacked basic elements, as Machado neither received a copy of the allegations against her nor was afforded the opportunity to respond to those allegations.”

The opposition group is known as the Unitary Platform, and it issued a statement regarding the matter through its Chief Negotiator, Gerardo Blyde, on Saturday.

Blyde stated that the ruling given by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, violates the Barbados accord. He went on to appeal to the presidents of France, Emmanuel Macron; of Brazil, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, and of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, among other international leaders so stand by them as they have during past negotiations.

Blyde also called the court’s decision a “violation of due process and the right to due defense”, especially in Machado’s case and urged Maduro’s allies to help reverse the ruling as it does not allow her to defend herself against the accusations.

On the other hand, a member of Maduro’s negotiation team, Hector Rodríguez, has said that Venezuela has followed the protocols in the accord and will hold its presidential election in 2024, as planned.

Rodríguez stated the following, “What happened at the opposition’s request for an expedited (appeal) process based on the agreement is already an adjudicated matter in Venezuela.”

“We are not going to have wet rain again. … They are not going to lock us in a permanent dynamic that does not allow us to move forward.”

This has resulted in a situation where Maduro is seeking another six years in office with out a clear candidate to oppose him in the elections.

Maduro has already held the office for a decade, a period that has been marred by political, social and economic crisis, which has forced 7.4 million citizens to migrate while millions of other find themselves below the poverty line.

Ana Allen
Ana Allen
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email


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