The Paraguayan Government of President Santiago Peña issued a statement Sunday condemning the Venezuelan Supreme Court (TSJ) decision to uphold the disenfranchisement of opposition leader María Corina Machado who has therefore been banned from running for the Miraflores Palace.
Paraguay highlighted the importance of free and transparent elections with the participation of all candidates and expressed its desire that the electoral process in Venezuela be carried out in a fair and equitable manner, allowing the full participation of the citizenry and guaranteeing transparency in all stages of the process. Asunción also underlined its unwavering commitment to the fundamental values of freedom, democracy, and human rights.
The South American country also called on the international community to keep an eye on Venezuela to ensure that the democratic standards and the rights of the population are respected.
Paraguay's message, which was also posted on social media, came after Machado's 15-year ban was ratified by the TSJ. She is accused of allegedly having been a participant in a corruption scheme orchestrated by former Parliament Speaker Juan Guaidó, as well as for failing to comply with Venezuelan regulations, by accepting accreditation as alternate representative of Panama to the Organization of American States (OAS), in a debate held in 2014.
The OAS claimed Sunday that Machado's disenfranchisement liquidated all possibility of free, fair and transparent elections in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan dictatorship's recent actions of prosecution and political imprisonment of opponents, especially those linked to the majority opposition leadership, already made it clear that the dictatorship had no intention of allowing clean and transparent elections to take place, said the OAS.
Machado's leadership is irreplaceable, as is any leadership that arises from the convictions and interests of the people, and therefore it would be pathetic and repulsive for someone to pretend to assume that place, ignoring the indisputable popular pronouncement that took place in the country in the primaries, it went on.