Urgent pronouncement for primary elections in Venezuela: support of the Liberal Network of Latin America to María Corina Machado

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen through articles, massive demonstrations, and polls that María Corina Machado has the support of her people to lead a democratic transition in Venezuela by taking Maduro out of power in a peaceful way.

Venezuela’s regime, however, intends to add a new obstacle to the struggle of reconquering democracy and freedom by politically “disqualifying” her.

This illegal movement the Nicolás Maduro regime wants to impose on María Corina Machado is arbitrary, null, unconstitutional, and violates all due process requirements.

Venezuelans have the right to choose their authorities. Elections are the peaceful way to change a situation that affects most of the country, and the efforts from the regime to block it highlight, once again, their undemocratic behavior.

Venezuelans also have the right to hold their primary elections. Preventing these primaries from being carried out freely, or conditioning their result, is an act contrary to democracy and a violation of the human rights of Venezuelans.

The opposition has won the battle to manage the primaries autonomously, without the regime’s interference. The official government knows it is defeated, and that’s why they want to prevent this democratic process from happening, but it won’t be Maduro who chooses the opponent who will challenge him next year; that job belongs to the citizens.

In this context, the primaries of the opposition must be widely endorsed and supported by the international community, both for the sake of Venezuelans and democracy itself.  The winner must be recognized as the official interlocutor before the international community and as Maduro’s opponent in 2024, under free and fair elections.

This newly elected leadership will have the legitimacy to build that path, represent Venezuelans, and coordinate efforts inside and outside the country in the face of the new stage of struggle to come and to negotiate for the transition.

There can be no effective negotiation with the regime if this process does not include free and fair elections, the release of political prisoners, and the implementation of international observation, among other essential conditions.

Unfortunately, for the moment —with disqualified candidates, an impossibility to vote from abroad, and a National Electoral Council taken over by the government— Venezuela is a long way from having these elections.


For this reason, considering the abuses against Machado and all the main candidates for the primary, their protection and accompaniment are essential. We need to let the regime know that their actions have consequences.

María Corina Machado remains firm as a candidate in this process, and reaffirms, as she has done for years, that she will continue this fight till the end.