President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva asked this Wednesday (6) that the candidates in the Venezuelan presidential elections do not behave in the same way as the Brazilian defeated in the last election. In reference to former president Jair Bolsonaro, the head of the Executive said that there are Brazilian candidates who lost and “did not accept the result”.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) announced this Tuesday that the country’s presidential elections will be held on July 28. The date was chosen after a dialogue table promoted by the country’s National Assembly that brought together experts, politicians from different parties and representatives from various sectors of society, including the opposition.

Lula celebrated the definition of a date. In a speech in Brasília alongside the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, the Brazilian said he hoped the elections would be “the most democratic possible”. Lula met last week with the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines after the summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac). According to him, Maduro stated at the meeting that he will call on “all the scouts in the world” to follow the election.

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Lula said that the schedule is defined and that one cannot “cast doubts before the elections take place”. Still according to him, “we have to guarantee the presumption of innocence”. The president also said that holding “democratic elections” are important for Venezuela itself.

“Venezuela needs a democratic election to be able to regain space for citizen participation in world forums and so that we can see the end of the American blockade in Venezuela,” he said.

::What is happening in Venezuela?::

Former Venezuelan deputy María Corina Machado, the main name to be a right-wing candidate in the election, was sanctioned by the Comptroller General of the Republic (CGR) with a disqualification from holding public office due to inconsistencies in her reporting while she was a deputy. in the National Assembly (2011- 2014). The CGR confirmed in June 2023 that Machado was disqualified for 15 years.

The Brazilian compared the situation of the Venezuelan opposition with the 2018 election, when he was prevented from participating and the current Finance Minister, Fernando Haddad, ran for president for the PT. Lula said that “I didn’t cry and chose another candidate to run in the elections” that year.

Hours later, María Corina Machado he responded Lula on social media. In her profile on X, the Venezuelan attacked Maduro, saying that the Brazilian did not know her and that he was fighting for the rights of millions of Venezuelans who voted for the former deputy in the primaries.

“Me crying, Lula? Do you say that because I’m a woman? You are validating the abuses of an autocrat who violates the Constitution and the Barbados Agreement that you claim to support. The only truth is that Maduro is afraid to face me because he knows that the Venezuelan people are with me in the streets today,” Machado published.

This is the second time that the Brazilian has made a connection between the situation of Venezuelan and Brazilian candidates. In June 2023, Lula compared the right-wing Venezuelan opposition to Bolsonaro and said that “people need to learn to accept the results of the elections”.

Lula also recalled the formation of the Group of Friends of Venezuela in 2003, created to be an instance that fosters dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition. He said he placed two countries “considered enemies” in this group: Spain and the United States. According to Lula, the then president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, demanded this participation, and the Brazilian said he responded that he was building a participation to help Venezuela.

Defined schedule

The document proposed by the dialogue table formed by the National Assembly had 27 possible dates for the 2024 elections and was signed by 152 people. The text was delivered to the National Electoral Council (CNE) last Friday (1). The dialogue table opened on February 5th and lasted 23 days.

The president of the CNE, Elvis Amoroso, said that the date “complies with what was established in the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the legal regulations and the entire process of studies carried out by the CNE”.

The registration deadline for candidates will be from March 18th to April 16th and the electoral campaign will be from July 4th to 25th.

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The chosen date follows what was proposed in the Barbados agreement, a document signed between the government and part of the opposition in October 2023. The text defined that the election should be held in the second half of 2024 and would include observation missions from the European Union , the Carter Center and the United Nations (UN).

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho


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