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Venezuela cancels EU observers’ invitation ahead of presidential election

Brussels has expressed disappointment with the decision and urged Caracas to reconsider

Venezuelan authorities have decided to unilaterally revoke an invitation to let EU observers monitor the upcoming presidential election scheduled for late July, the head of the country’s National Electoral Council (CNE) Elvis Amoroso announced on Tuesday.

Speaking in a televised address, the official explained the move by stating that it would be “immoral” to invite the European observers so long as the EU maintains its “neocolonialist and interventionist practices” and refuses to lift sanctions against Caracas. He called the restrictions “coercive and genocidal,” adding that they have caused “incalculable property damage” and affected the health of children and the elderly.

Brussels has for years accused Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his government of violating human rights as well as undermining democracy and the rule of law. In 2017, the EU introduced a number of restrictive measures on the South American country, including an embargo on arms and on equipment for internal repression, as well as individual sanctions on 54 state officials.

Earlier this month, in a gesture of support for the upcoming election, the EU lifted sanctions against Amoroso and three other people. However, Amoroso has stressed that this was not enough and demanded that Brussels lift all sanctions against the country, claiming they had generated “the loss of $125,000 million” that would have been destined for social development.

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Amoroso also suggested that the sanctions against Venezuela have prevented access to food and medicine as well as affected “education, sports, the economy, restricted businessmen, the acquisition of raw materials and inputs that are necessary for national industry.” 

In a statement shared on X, the EU said it was disappointed by Caracas’ decision and urged the Venezuelan authorities to reconsider.

“The Venezuelan people should be able to choose their next president in credible, transparent and competitive elections, supported by international observation, including that of the EU,” Brussels said in the communique.

Previously, during Venezuela’s 2021 local and regional elections, President Nicolas Maduro branded the EU’s observers at the time as “enemies” and a “delegation of spies” set out to “stain” the electoral process and spy on the country’s social, economic and political life.

May 29, 2024 at 10:42PM
RT

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