Biden Admin Furious Over Venezuela Opposition Leader’s Ban

Along with thirty other foreign leaders, the United States government denounced the decision of Venezuela’s highest court to reject María Corina Machado’s presidential bid.

President Biden warned he would reimpose economic penalties on the South American nation if Venezuela would not hold free and fair elections.

Following the ruling by Venezuela’s top court, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, that Machado could not run for president, the United States Department of State said it examines the country’s electoral process.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said this development, along with the recent political targeting of democratic opposition candidates, is prompting the United States to reevaluate its sanctions policy toward Venezuela.

With almost 90% of the vote, former legislator Machado won the opposition’s presidential primary, held separately in October. Despite the government’s announcement of a 15-year prohibition on her running for office shortly after she officially entered the contest in June, she nevertheless managed to win.

The primary election was arranged by a committee apart from Venezuela’s electoral authority, which allowed her to participate.

Despite the prohibition, Machado prevailed in her campaign against Nicolás Maduro, the current president of Venezuela.

She maintained that voters should have the last say in whether or not to reject her candidacy and claimed that she had never received formal notice of the prohibition.

She sought an injunction to safeguard her political rights and confirmed the ban’s nullity by filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in December.

Unfortunately, the court favored the ban and rejected her appeal.

It would violate an agreement reached last year between President Maduro’s administration and opposition groups supported by the United States to bar Machado and other candidates from competing.

The deal led to a loosening of sanctions on Venezuela’s mining, oil, and gas sectors by the United States government.