With Maria Corina Machado in Venezuela, Oil Gifts and Cuban Interference Will End

María Corina Machado, opposition candidate for the 2024 elections in Venezuela. (X/María Corina Machado)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio/EFE, Havana, October 26, 2023 — Former deputy María Corina Machado, winner with 92% of the votes in the opposition primary elections in Venezuela, assured that, if elected, she will suspend free oil shipments to Cuba. “If they pay, we can continue sending them,” she warned this Tuesday in a press conference where she was asked, among other topics, about the relations between both countries.

Although her priority is to defeat the Chavismo that has dominated Venezuelan politics for 24 years — and its representative, the current president Nicolás Maduro — Machado promised a review of the link between both nations to cut off at the root all types of interference. “There will be no way or area in which the Cuban regime interferes in the affairs of the State of Venezuela, nor Venezuela in the affairs of the Cuban State,” she insisted.

The energy issue – one of the most delicate because Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the region – would need “a conference in itself,” Machado explained. However, she assured that her party, Vente Venezuela, has a plan to open the country to “enormous” investments, not only for fuel and gas but also for other resources.

Her party, Vente Venezuela, has a plan to open the country to “enormous” investments, not only for fuel and gas

The structural transformations planned by the opposition – including the new diplomatic stance towards the Island – pass through a series of “legal and institutional changes” that seek to reconfigure Venezuela’s role in the region.

“At the level of human rights and freedoms, Cubans know that they count on the Venezuelans and that they will count on me with everything I can so that they too can move towards a system of freedoms. That they can live with freedom, with dignity and prosperity,” she concluded.

On Thursday, Machado was proclaimed the opposition candidate for the 2024 presidential elections. The National Primary Commission (CNP), organizer of the process, was in charge of officially announcing her candidacy in an act in which her work was also recognized by the members of this body, the opposition political parties, civil organizations and by the candidates who ran in the elections.

“Today we proclaim our unity candidate for the Presidency of the Republic, María Corina Machado, and we extend our congratulations. A path is opening up that demands inclusion, preservation and broadening of the broad political and social movement that was generated around the primary” said the president of the CNP, Jesús María Casal, before giving Machado her credential.

“We fought a noble fight, which was an example of the Venezuela that we are going to build (…) passionately contrasting ideas but with respect,” said Machado about the electoral campaign, which started with 13 candidates, and ended with 10, after the resignation of three of them two weeks before the primaries.

Machado’s proclamation took place in the midst of attacks by the powers of the State, all in the hands of Chavismo

She assured that “very competent people” who have joined the fight she is leading for change in Venezuela have joined, understanding that “the best, regardless of their militancy or origin” are necessary. Finally, she insisted on her call to all sectors of the country to form “a great national alliance that allows building democratic governance” and work on the route to the presidential elections scheduled for the second half of 2024.

Machado’s proclamation took place in the midst of attacks from the powers of the State, all in the hands of Chavismo, which denounces that there was “fraud” in the process, for which the Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal investigation into the primaries and their organization.

Also the president of the National Assembly (AN/Parliament) and representative of the Government in the negotiations with the opposition, Jorge Rodríguez, questioned Machado’s meeting with ambassadors and representatives of various nations and said he was “concerned” that they were trying to “interfere” “in Venezuelan politics.

“With all due respect, we ask for restraint, with all due respect we ask for parsimony, do not interfere in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” said Rodríguez during the meeting to which the diplomats were summoned in order to present “the evidence” about the “fraudulent primary event carried out by a sector of the opposition,” according to the call sent to the press.


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