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Venezuela’s Election In The Crosshairs Of New U.S. Regime Change Scheme

With the date for the next Venezuelan presidential election officially set for July 28, the Biden administration is gearing up for the biggest regime-change push in the South American country since the Guaidó coup attempt. U.S. officials have now presented the Venezuelan electoral process as an attack on democracy.

The key piece of this narrative revolves around the disqualification of the opposition figure María Corina Machado. Since the start of the Bolivarian Revolution, Machado has been active in the right-wing opposition and has gone so far as to support destabilization campaigns and attempts to overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected governments. She served as a member of Venezuela’s National Assembly from 2011 to 2014.

In July 2015, the Venezuelan comptroller general’s office announced that Machado was barred from holding public office for a period of one year after neglecting to disclose the extent of her earnings while she held public office.

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In July 2023, opposition deputy José Brito requested an update on Machado’s eligibility for holding public office given the upcoming presidential election and her stated intention to run. The comptroller general’s office confirmed that the disqualification of Machado was maintained and issued a 15-year ban due to her support of regime change plots.

Though she initially refused to participate in the process, Machado appealed her ban. In January 2024, the Supreme Court of Venezuela rejected Machado’s appeal.

Biden immediately sought to use economic coercion to undermine this decision. The U.S. government has issued licenses to certain oil companies permitting them to resume operations in Venezuela despite the sanctions. At the end of January 2024, the State Department announced that the sanctions waivers issued to these companies would not be renewed once they expire on April 18.

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