The disqualification of Venezuelan opposition figure María Corina Machado from the Supreme Court Justice (TSJ) threatens the international aperture the South American country has experienced. The United States Government has issued a two-month ultimatum to the Maduro government, demanding the inclusion of barred opposition candidates in the upcoming presidential elections.
The White House has opted to revoke a key gold mining license, a result of delicate negotiations between Chavismo and the opposition in Barbados during the last months.
They have decisions to make: allow opposition parties and candidates to participate properly and release political prisoners. They have until April, emphasized John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, in a press briefing.
Simultaneously, the U.S. Treasury Department has amended licenses related to Corporación Venezolana de Guayana and Minerven, setting a deadline for the closure of operations before February 13.
As diplomatic tensions escalate, the Venezuelan crisis is at a crossroads. María Corina Machado, despite maintaining her candidacy, faces a renewed disqualification, amplifying uncertainties in the political landscape of Venezuela, which has been living in a loop for the last decade.
The Chavismo, aspiring to move forward, risks strain in direct dialogues with Washington. The government's suspension of Machado's candidacy, citing corruption allegations, echoes previous disqualifications in 2021 and 2014.
In this unfolding scenario, chavismo's prior success in obtaining sanctions relief and orchestrating high-profile exchanges faces potential setbacks. With the U.S. considering a gradual withdrawal of concessions, and the Venezuelan International Investment Center under scrutiny, the future remains uncertain.
Deportation flights to Venezuela, facilitated by Washington, aim to address immigration concerns in Joe Biden's administration. Biden is confronting the migration issue in the electoral context of his own country, while the Venezuelan opposition grapples with intensified judicial challenges and harassment. Nicolás Maduro's Government accusations of opposition violations of Barbados agreements further complicate the negotiation landscape.
As María Corina Machado stands firm against judicial rulings, the opposition continued to receive judicial beatings and harassment from the Government. Maduro's allies have denounced five conspiracies to assassinate the head of state and have linked Machado's team in those files, without much evidence, and have taken to jail several of her collaborators.