Venezuelan opposition candidate Maria Machado, who was removed from running in the presidential elections by a decision of the Supreme Court (Anatolia)

The Chavez regime in Venezuela has always bullied the opposition throughout its electoral stages for nearly two decades, perhaps the most recent of which was the 2019 battle with oppositionist Juan Guaido, who ended up as a refugee in the United States.

However, the rhetoric of belittling the opposition and accusing it of being a stooge of Washington no longer resonates with the majority of the people, who have basked in the fire of hunger and poverty and rallied to support the opposition candidate, Maria Machado, in the opinion polls for the presidential elections at the end of this year.

It is clear that the message reached President Maduro's regime, and everyone woke up to a decision from the Supreme Court, which stated that Machado was ineligible to run in the presidential race!

Questioning the integrity of the elections

There are details related to Venezuelan internal affairs and other international ones, which contributed greatly to reaching this result. As for internal affairs, it necessarily reflects the desperate defense of President Maduro and the symbols of his government, of the project of the leftist leader Chavez, who assumed the presidency of Venezuela from 1999, until his death in 2013, and then his deputy Maduro at that time assumed the presidency temporarily, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, and moved on to win the position. Officially in 2014.

Therefore, Venezuelans - regardless of how successful Leader Chavez or Maduro after him is in running the country - have been governed by the same political trend for 25 years, and it is very likely that this trend will continue its monopoly of power for the next 5 years, in light of the current data. All electoral stations raised doubts about its integrity.

In the same context, the electoral arena has recently witnessed events that have increased the level of skepticism about the intentions of the ruling regime. Whereas, prior to holding the opposition’s primary elections - during which a single candidate for the upcoming presidential elections is agreed upon, to stand against the regime’s candidate - the Electoral Council, which was supposed to supervise these primary elections, announced the dissolution of itself, and the opposition considered that decision to be “ “An internal bombing operation” to prevent the opposition from agreeing and keeping it fragmented.

In the face of external pressure, the formation of a new council was reached, with a majority of members from the ruling regime, two months before the internal opposition elections were held. Although the opposition candidates submitted their candidacy files, the Council did not reject Machado's file at that time, due to deficiencies or errors.

However, after she won her candidacy from the opposition - with an overwhelming majority in front of her comrades, and then her popularity was confirmed in the opinion polls at the expense of President Maduro in the last two months - the Supreme Court declared, relatively surprisingly, her ineligibility to run; Because of its “involvement in the conspiracy led by Juan Guaido against Venezuela in 2019,” which led to the imposition of sanctions on Venezuela and the confiscation of its funds abroad.

Juan Guaido is a parliamentarian. He was elected President of the 2019 Parliament, and days later he declared himself interim president of the country after the approval of a parliamentary majority and with the blessing of the United States and 59 other countries. Protesting the re-election of President Maduro in the late 2018 elections, but President Maduro and his government took control of the crisis and aborted the plan of Guaido and his allies.

Western pressure

As for the international details that led to the current electoral scene, they are represented by the increasing volume of Western pressure demanding that President Maduro and his government provide the opposition with a democratic atmosphere in which to position itself and prepare to run in the elections against the ruling party, with integrity.

In addition, and against the backdrop of the reviews imposed by the Russian-Ukrainian war, the administration of President Biden last October eased US sanctions on Venezuela and accepted a prisoner exchange deal, which stipulated that it would hand over 32 names in Venezuelan prisons, in exchange for handing over one prisoner, of size Venezuela's political heavyweight, diplomat Alex Saab, last December. All of this in return for President Maduro's pledge to ensure the holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections.

What is interesting is that the decision of the Supreme Court in Venezuela to remove opposition candidate Machado from the electoral race and to deprive her and the second candidate, her companion Enrique Radonsky, from holding public office for 15 years, comes after a series of events that suggest that the decision is likely to be retaliatory and reflects the regime’s real fears of a victory. Machado for the next presidency. Especially since the charge against her is old, and the court could have announced it before Machado’s candidacy, not after her victory.

Some believe that President Maduro "betrayed" his American counterpart, and reneged on the condition of "holding free and fair elections," after the return of the flow of Venezuelan oil to international markets and the restoration of the man, Alex Saab, his right arm abroad.

Empty slogans

In addition, it appears that President Maduro's retreat from his agreement with his American counterpart came as a result of his annoyance at the apparent rapprochement between the United States and the statelet of Guyana, Venezuela's eastern neighbor, which renewed its battle over the disputed Essequibo region with Venezuela, and awarded American oil companies exploration contracts in Disputed waters, in addition to talk of the possibility of establishing a military base in the Essequibo forests.

As for Washington’s position, it was expected, as it condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to ban Machado’s candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections, a few hours after its announcement, and hinted at reviewing the sanctions imposed on Venezuela, against the backdrop of what the pro-regime judiciary had done, according to the words of US State Department spokesman Matthew. Miller.

Regardless of the US administration’s suspicion of the mistakes of the Venezuelan regime, and its extreme keenness to return Venezuela to the American embrace, by inflating the Venezuelan opposition and pushing its symbols to confront President Maduro and defeat him at any cost, the slogans of resistance and sovereignty that President Maduro’s regime raises to convince his people of the opposition’s work, You no longer find listening ears to the spread of financial corruption issues among figures of the ruling regime, and the spread of poverty and unemployment, on the other hand, among most segments of society.