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Montevideo, April 12th 2024 - 12:06 UTC



Maduro's regime consolidating as a dictatorship, says Uruguay's FM

Wednesday, March 27th 2024 - 11:45 UTC
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“Unfortunately today the worst has been confirmed,” Paganini stressed “Unfortunately today the worst has been confirmed,” Paganini stressed

Uruguay's Foreign Minister Omar Paganini Tuesday said that Nicolás Maduro's regime was “consolidating itself as a dictatorship” after the main opposition candidates were unable to compete in the July 28 presidential elections. Paganini also underlined that Venezuela was “moving away from any possible democratic practice.”

Montevideo signed a statement, along with Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Peru criticizing the lack of transparency and the restrictions on Venezuela's electoral scenario after opposition leader María Corina Machado, herself disenfranchised until 2036, was unable to enter the candidacy of Corina Yoris on behalf of her Democratic Unitary Platform (PUD) in strange circumstances. The PUD could not enter the National Electoral Council's online registration platform, it was explained.

“They allowed the registration of some candidates who -evidently- the Venezuelan regime has no concern that they can gather a flow of votes, but not those who pose a risk,” said Paganini.

“The Venezuelan electoral process has been distorted completely and Venezuela is consolidated as a dictatorship, which moves away from any possible democratic practice,” he added.

Asked if the Uruguayan government would recognize the July 28 elections results, of the elections in Venezuela, Paganini replied: “We will have to see it at the time, but the situation is very distorted.”

Regarding the joint document, Paganini noted that “we issued a statement very concerned about the whole situation that is being experienced in Venezuela and unfortunately today the worst has been confirmed in the sense that the opposition candidates, not only María Corina Machado, was disqualified, who had clearly been very supported in the primary elections, but then Corina Yoris, who was the alternative candidate for this electoral process, was not allowed to register by administrative means.”

“Elections are for the people to choose alternatives, they are not for them to choose what the government of the day wants,” Paganini insisted while ruling out any possible dismantling of Montevideo's Embassy in Caracas. “Relations are with States, not with governments. It is a relationship with the Venezuelan people, with Uruguayans who live there, and with Venezuelans who want to come here,” he stressed.

Paganini also said Uruguay supported the UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza in the war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas. “Uruguay had been talking about the fact that we wanted a temporary ceasefire and then give way to more lasting peace negotiations. This vote by the UN Security Council goes in that direction,” he said.

“They are talking about a ceasefire during Ramadan to then generate conditions for peace and the release of all the hostages. Both things are fundamental, this of having hostages is something historic in an international conflict, so Uruguay thinks that what the Security Council voted for is positive,” he added.

“It is time to be concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and to seek all avenues of support without forgetting that Hamas committed terrible attacks. But now we must seek a pacification. The responsibility lies with all those involved in the conflict,” Montevideo's top diplomat underlined.

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