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Montevideo, April 12th 2024 - 10:40 UTC

 

 

Unusual criticism from Lula da Silva and Petro on Venezuela's presidential race controversy

Saturday, March 30th 2024 - 09:58 UTC
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There have been several countries that have censured what happened with the exclusion of the two opposition leaders. But this time it has drawn attention that the governments of Colombia and Brazil There have been several countries that have censured what happened with the exclusion of the two opposition leaders. But this time it has drawn attention that the governments of Colombia and Brazil

Renowned South American political figures Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, and Gustavo Petro, head of state of Colombia, have taken an unusual stance against Venezuela's government, criticizing its refusal to allow opposition candidate Corina Yoris to register for the upcoming presidential elections.

Lula emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating, “It has no legal or political explanation to prohibit an adversary from being a candidate.”

Petro echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the importance of democracy, “There is no cowardly left, there is the probability of, through deepening democracy, changing the world.”

The controversy stems from the exclusion of Yoris, chosen by opposition leader María Corina Machado, from the presidential race, sparking concern and condemnation from international allies who had previously supported President Nicolás Maduro's government.

Yoris denounced that she could not register in the digital system of the National Electoral Council and, once the deadline expired, she has been excluded from the race to the Miraflores Palace, the HQ of the Venezuelan Government. “My rights are being violated”, she protested.

There have been several countries that have censured what happened with the exclusion of the two opposition leaders. But this time it has drawn attention that the governments of Colombia and Brazil, governed by leftist leaders who until now had maintained good relations with Maduro, have joined the chorus of criticism.

Maduro responded to both by referring to the alleged assassination attempt he claimed to have suffered this week, when, he declared without presenting evidence at a rally with his followers in Caracas, several members of Machado's party had been detained when they were preparing to make an attempt on his life.

“They are after me to try to make an attempt on my life” and ”the cowardly left are not capable of condemning the coups (sic), the attempts they are trying against the revolution, against peace. They are complicitly silent,“ he said.

The criticism from Lula and Petro marks a significant departure from their previous support for Maduro's administration, signaling a shift in the political landscape of the region.

Both neighboring countries agreed that the exclusion of Yoris and the subsequent arrests of opposition figures highlight the ongoing tensions surrounding Venezuela's presidential elections and the erosion of democratic norms in the country.

In a communiqué issued last Tuesday, after Yoris denounced that it had not been possible for him to register his candidacy, the Colombian Foreign Ministry expressed its ”concern“ for the ”difficulties faced by majority sectors of the opposition“ when trying to nominate their candidates.

Bogota expressed the need for a ”free, fair and competitive presidential electoral process“ and urged the government and the opposition to respect the agreement reached between both parties in Barbados to facilitate the political normalization of Venezuela, in the negotiation of which Colombia acted as observer.

From Brasilia, in a joint appearance with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, Lula declared that there had been no official explanation as to why Yoris had not been able to register his candidacy.

Lula described as ”serious“ the fact that Yoris had not been able to register. ”It has no legal or political explanation to prohibit an adversary from being a candidate,“ Lula said.

The Brazilian government, like the Colombian government, also showed its ”concern” for the exclusion of Yoris and demanded the fulfillment of the Barbados agreement.

 

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