The Maduro regime in Venezuela has been making arbitrary arrests against opponents, especially those who have been successful in the opposition primaries. María Corina Machado and her party have become the target of a fierce persecution by the Chavista regime. At least five leaders of Vente Venezuela have been arbitrarily detained by the dictatorship, accused of being linked to alleged conspiracies against Maduro. The arrests have followed a pattern that targets the directors of the party at the regional level, as well as the representatives and companions of the campaign commands of María Corina Machado.
The number of arrests in less than two weeks has put the highest authorities of Vente Venezuela on alert, who have described these actions as a violation of human rights and an example of the lack of guarantees for the upcoming electoral campaign. The Attorney General appointed by Maduro, Tarek William Saab, stated that the detainees would be investigated “for attacking the Venezuelan State and imploding citizen peace.” However, he did not present any evidence to support his accusations.
The Vente Venezuela’s lawyer, Perkins Rocha, denounced that these arrests are part of a “systematized campaign” to remove the party from the electoral route, and that violate the Barbados agreement, signed between the Chavistas and the opposition in October 2023, with the mediation of Norway, which included political and electoral guarantees for the presidential elections scheduled for the second half of this year.
The Chavista regime has been targeting the opposition and María Corina Machado in alleged plans to “exterminate” leaders of the so-called “revolution” and accused her of requesting “foreign intervention.” The Chavista Justice ratified the disqualification of María Corina Machado for a period of 15 years, by rejecting a request for precautionary protection presented in December.
The Venezuelan regime is aware that the recent wave of political persecution contradicts the Barbados Agreement and complicates the possible temporary relaxation of sanctions imposed by the United States. However, he assured that Maduro seems to be betting that the migration crisis in the United States will lead the Biden administration to be reluctant to reimpose sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector.
The president of the Venezuelan parliament threatened to kick the negotiation table. Hours later, Maduro himself kicked the dialogue table. and reaffirmed the rhetoric of Jorge Rodríguez, ensuring that the agreements signed with the Democratic Unitary Platform (PUD) in Barbados “are mortally wounded.” To justify the actions of his dictatorship, Maduro blamed the opposition for boycotting the dialogue with alleged plans of assassination.
Faced with this new wave of repression by the Chavista regime, the spokesman for the US State Department, Matthew Miller, issued a harsh warning to Maduro: “The actions that go against the spirit and the letter of the Barbados agreement will have consequences. We urge (…) to adhere to the electoral roadmap agreement, including announcing a clear schedule for the 2024 presidential election, and to reinstate all political candidates.” Joe Biden’s Administration also demanded an “end to harassment for political reasons”, the attacks on the headquarters of opposition political parties and “all efforts to stifle the democratic aspirations of the Venezuelan people through fear and intimidation.”
María Corina Machado has assured that “she will remain on the electoral route” and that she will not be intimidated by what she considers a “strategy of…
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