Venezuelan Opposition Registers Candidate Despite Maduro's Attempts to Divide and Exclude

Venezuela's opposition registers a third candidate for the 2024 election, but doubts linger over the fairness of the vote. The economic crisis and failed sanctions raise questions about U.S. foreign policy in the region.

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Venezuelan Opposition Registers Candidate Despite Maduro's Attempts to Divide and Exclude

Venezuelan Opposition Registers Candidate Despite Maduro's Attempts to Divide and Exclude

The Venezuelan opposition coalition has managed to register a third, provisional candidate to run against President Nicolás Maduro in the July 2024 election, despite the exclusion of their main opposition figure, María Corina Machado. The decision to hold the election is seen as a partial fulfillment of Maduro's commitment to the United States, but many question whether the balloting will be free and fair.

Maduro had previously reneged on his promise to hold free elections, banning Machado from running and arresting her allies. The Biden administration had offered to lift some U.S. sanctions in exchange for freer elections, but Maduro refused to risk losing power to Machado.

The sanctions have hurt ordinary Venezuelans, contributing to a massive economic collapse and migration crisis, but are now politically difficult to lift without concessions from Maduro. The sanctions have failed to topple Maduro's regime as intended.

Why this matters: The situation in Venezuela has broader implications for the region and U.S. foreign policy. The economic and humanitarian crisis has led to a mass exodus of Venezuelans to neighboring countries. The failure of sanctions to force political change raises questions about the effectiveness of such measures.

Meanwhile, a group of top Senate Republican leaders, led by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), is urging President Biden to block oil sanctions relief for the Venezuelan government. The lawmakers argue that Venezuela has failed to meet key requirements related to ensuring fair elections that it agreed to when the Biden administration issued a six-month license last year. They warn that appeasing dictators does not work and that the U.S. must not cede its leverage by lifting sanctions while the Maduro government disregards its obligations.

Opposition leader Juan Pablo Guanipa has warned that Maduro is attempting to divide and impose candidates in the upcoming election. Despite the challenges, the opposition coalition remains committed to participating in the electoral process and pushing for free and fair elections in Venezuela.

Key Takeaways

  • Venezuelan opposition registered 3rd candidate for 2024 election despite exclusions.
  • Maduro reneged on promise of free elections, banning opposition figure Machado.
  • U.S. sanctions hurt Venezuelans, failed to topple Maduro's regime as intended.
  • Republican senators urge Biden to block oil sanctions relief for Venezuela.
  • Opposition coalition committed to participating in upcoming election despite challenges.