China Backs Venezuela as Key Opposition Candidate Excluded from Vote

Sat Mar 30 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

CARACAS, Venezuela: China Friday expressed support for Venezuela and condemned “external interference”, after its ally came under fire from the United States, Brazil and France for blocking a key opposition figure from July elections.

Lin Jian, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, urged the world community to play a “positive and constructive role” in Venezuela’s election scheduled to be held on 28 July 2024 to choose a president for a six-year term beginning on 10 January 2025.

“We respect Venezuela’s national and sovereign independence, support Venezuela in advancing the election in accordance with its constitution and laws, and oppose external interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs,” the spokesperson said.

The opposition Democratic Unitary Platform (PUD) was this week compelled to enroll an unknown candidate after being unable to sign up 80-year-old Corina Yoris, to face off against incumbent President Nicolas Maduro. The latter is seeking a third term in office.

On Thursday, leaders of France and Brazil very firmly condemned the exclusion of Venezuela Opposition Candidate for the July elections.

Presidents of France Emmanuel Macron and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva lashed out at Venezuela over the blocking of key opposition candidate Corina Yoris from the elections.

The French President condemned the blocking of Yoris “very firmly” while Brazil’s Lula said it was “serious” that the main opposition had not been able to register its chosen candidate. They were addressing a joint press conference in Brasilia.

“We very firmly condemn the exclusion of a serious and credible candidate from this process,” the French president said as he ended a three-day official visit to the South American country.

Lula believed that there was no legal or political explanation for banning an opponent from being a candidate.

He said that he had told Maduro that the most important thing to restore normality in the country was to avoid any problems in the electoral process and that the vote be held in the most democratic way possible.

It is to mention here that Yoris was already the embattled opposition’s Plan B.

After convincing primary polls win in October 2023, 56-year-old liberal politician Maria Corina Machado emerged as a single figure to unite the opposition.

“The iron lady” as called by her supporters Machado has long been a fervent opponent of “Chavismo” — the brand of populist leftist ideology left behind by country’s late president Hugo Chavez.

However, accused of corruption, she was banned from public office for 15 years by courts loyal to Maduro. She always dismissed the charge as fabricated.

Machado kept campaigning and at the eleventh hour, she picked 80-year-old university professor Corina Yoris as her stand-in to present as a candidate to the national election council to avoid leaving the opposition without representation.

However, by the time the deadline ended on Monday, the Democratic Unitary Platform (PUD) was unable to access the website to register Corina Yoris as a presidential candidate.

However, the governor of the oil-rich province of Zulia and a member of the PUD coalition, Manuel Rosales, managed to enroll last-minute as he attempted a last-ditch effort to avoid the opposition from being left out of the vote.

But he came under fire for being a candidate picked for his palatability to Maduro, which he fiercely denies.

After the deadline had ended, the PUD did manage to enroll the name of Edmundo Gonzalez Urruti, a little-known former ambassador, as a “provisional” candidate who Machado now hopes she will be able to replace.

If she cannot, the opposition will have to throw its support behind either Gonzalez or Rosales.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp