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Venezuela’s Supreme Justice Tribunal has confirmed a ban that prevents opposition presidential candidate Maria Corina Machado from holding office, disrupting the opposition’s electoral strategies for the upcoming elections.

Machado, a former lawmaker, had emerged as a strong contender to challenge President Nicolas Maduro after winning over 90% of the votes in the opposition’s independently run primary last October. Her victory occurred despite the government imposing a 15-year ban on her candidacy shortly after she announced her participation in June.

Mcm Maduro

Following the court’s ruling, Machado expressed determination to continue her campaign efforts. On social media, she stated, “Maduro and his criminal system chose the worst path for them: fraudulent elections. That’s not going to happen. Let no one doubt it, this is to the end.” This statement came amid the arrest of three of her allies from the Vente Venezuela party on conspiracy charges, escalating tensions between the government and the opposition.

Attorney General Tarek Saab accused Guillermo Lopez, Luis Camacaro, and Juan Freites, members of Machado’s party, of attempting to rob a military weapons arsenal as part of a larger plot against a pro-Maduro governor. The party condemned the arrests and court proceedings as “illegal and arbitrary,” highlighting the lack of legal representation and family contact for the accused.

The court also cited reasons for upholding Machado’s disqualification, including her support for U.S. sanctions, involvement in corruption, and alleged financial mismanagement of Venezuelan assets abroad. The U.S. government criticized the court’s decision, with State Department spokesman Matthew Miller indicating a potential review of Venezuela sanctions policy in light of these developments.


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