Gabriel Boric distances himself from Brazil and Argentina and condemns the banning of the Venezuelan opposition leader

The Chilean Foreign Ministry has called for a free and fair electoral process in the Chavista country. And he repudiated the disqualification of María Corina Machado.

The government of the social democrat Gabriel Boric has once again differentiated itself from the Brazilian Lula da Silva and the Argentine Alberto Fernández by raising a strong repudiation to the Venezuelan regime’s decision to ban opposition leader María Corina Machado for 15 years, who appears as the main dissident leader ahead of the 2024 general elections.

Foreign Minister Alberto Van Klaveren criticized the measure and said his country “supports free elections in Venezuela”.

During the Mercosur summit, political repression in the Bolivarian country seeped into discourses and there were disagreements and frictions between the presidents of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez, and of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, clouded against the benevolent vision towards the Chavista dictatorship by Brazil and Argentina.

“The problems of democracy are solved with more democracy. Electoral processes must be free and fair, without restrictions or exclusions of male and female candidates,” said the Chilean foreign minister. “We are concerned about the setbacks observed in this regard in various sister countries in the region,” he said. added.

The presidents of Mercosur, this Monday in Iguazú. Photo: EFE

Boric, who claims his left-wing profile, argued in presidential summits and in declarations in his country that human rights do not have an ideology, nor does respect for institutions which “must be demanded indiscriminately”.

These messages have openly targeted Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, nations hiding behind an alleged progressive lineage to avoid condemnation for excesses committed against dissidents.

Differences with Lula da Silva

Together with Lacalle Pou in a meeting in Brasilia in May in the presence of the Venezuelan leader, Boric questioned a speech by Lula who belittled the reports of human rights violations that occurred in the Chavista regime as “narratives”.

Boric assured at that moment, contradicting the PT leader, that human rights “must be respected always and everywhere, regardless of the political color of the current ruler”.

María Corina Machado, favorite of the opposition to face Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.  Photo: REUTERS
María Corina Machado, favorite of the opposition to face Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. Photo: REUTERS

He added that “as a leftist president, it was important to confront Maduro for the first time in an international forum, but we also call on the US and the EU to end sanctions, which weaken people, not governments.” ”.

The Chilean leader then remarked that Maduro’s return to the regional forums sponsored by the PT leader does not mean “swept human rights issues under the rug” in Venezuela.

Already earlier, in June last year during the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, he had defined “unacceptable that there are people imprisoned in Cuba for having thought differently”.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with Nicolás Maduro, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, at the end of May.  Photo: EFE
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, with Nicolás Maduro, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, at the end of May. Photo: EFE

The disqualification of María Corina Machado

Chile’s pronouncement joins those of countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Colombia and those indicated by Uruguay Paraguay against the dismissal of Machado, leader of the Vente Venezuela party. He also spoke out against the OAS and the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas, which brings together some thirty former presidents.

The leader has anticipated that he will not accept the ban and will continue in the countryside for the internal opposition elections scheduled for October and to secure his presidential candidacy.

He considered the move against him a big mistake. “Far beyond unnecessary, this alleged disqualification is a big mistake,” she said.

“It has become a ‘boomerang’ for the government,” he said, commenting that “we are seeing reactions inside and outside Venezuela. They have managed to make the primaries not just a contest between candidates to confront the regime.”

According to a document revealed by a lawmaker allied with the Caracas regime, José Brito, the Venezuelan comptroller general’s office has sanctioned the leader for determining alleged errors and omissions in the sworn declarations of her assets.

a pretextindeed, to distance her from the political career where her candidacy has been growing.

Machado leads the intention to vote in the opposition primaries out of a total of 14 pre-candidates. In November 2022, he had a 35.4% voting intention. Last May, that level rose to 46.4%, according to a survey by polling firm ORC Consultores.

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