Venezuelan opposition leader Machado says Maduro can only stay in power “by force”

Venezuelan opposition leader Machado says Maduro can only stay in power “by force”
Venezuelan opposition leader Machado says Maduro can only stay in power “by force”

Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado has said that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro can only stay in power “by force” because he “does not have” the votes to win the presidential elections in which the main opposition candidate, Edmundo González, will face off against Chavismo on July 28. “The only way for Maduro to stay in power is by force, he does not have the votes, everyone knows that, and that would have terrible consequences for the region, not only in terms of his geopolitical ties with Russia, Iran and international guerrilla and terrorist groups, but certainly in terms of migration,” Machado said during an interview with the Colombian newspaper ‘El Tiempo’. Machado also highlighted the large amount of support with which the opposition is running in the elections, and stressed that they had never had such support in previous elections, which is why she was convinced of the opposition’s victory. “Look, we have never gone into an electoral contest with such a level of support and where we are convinced that we are going to win. The street is talking and it is talking hard. (…) What I tell them is: prepare yourselves, because we are such a big force that it is impossible for the regime not to see it,” she said. In addition, she recalled that all this is happening in an atmosphere of persecution against opposition politicians, of whom more than 40 have already been arrested in recent months. She also criticized that one cannot trust in a “clean and free election” when the authorities ruled out her candidacy despite having been chosen in the opposition primaries. Likewise, Machado has assured that the Venezuelan Government has realized the opposition’s strength, which is why it has once again shown its willingness to return to dialogue after months of failing to comply with the Barbados Agreements, and that they will not refuse to advance in a “negotiation process with guarantees for the parties.” González ended up being the official candidate of the Democratic Unitary Platform (PUD) after the impossibility of registering Machado, the winner of the 2023 primaries, and her theoretical substitute, Corina Yoris. In addition to Machado’s disqualification, the opposition has denounced the arrest of nearly 40 militants so far this year and coinciding with the electoral campaign, for which they have criticized a “criminalized regime” that positions itself against “the electoral route”, since “none of them has committed any crime.”

 
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