Venezuela: Top Court Upholds Election Ban on Leading Opposition Candidate

    Venezuela: Top Court Upholds Election Ban on Leading Opposition Candidate
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    The Facts

    • Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Justice has dismissed opposition leader María Corina Machado's appeal challenging her 15-year election ban first announced by the government of Nicolás Maduro in June 2023.

    • Furthermore, the court also upheld findings that Machado had supported the country's "criminal embargo," seized funds from foreign banks, and "stripped the businesses and wealth of the Venezuelan people."


    The Spin

    Republican narrative

    Time after time, Nicolás Maduro has shown that his regime will never hold fair presidential elections. Yet, the Biden administration has insisted on easing sanctions and releasing prisoners to please Caracas. As the leader of the free world, the US must reestablish sanctions and completely cut ties with Venezuela's dictatorship.

    Democratic narrative

    Some sanctions may be reinstated on Venezuela, likely related to gold exports, but the US must refrain from pushing too hard so as to retain some leeway until a date for the presidential vote is set. While sanctions have so far proven to be ineffective, a moderate approach has allowed the return of undocumented migrants to Venezuela while helping keep oil prices in check.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's a matter of justice that Machado has been banned from holding office for the next 15 years, since the US-backed far-right politician had endorsed economic sanctions and a foreign military intervention to topple Maduro's legitimate government. Under the Barbados Agreement, prospective candidates must commit to defending Venezuela's sovereignty, which she has certainly failed to do.


    Metaculus Prediction


    Political split

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    RIGHT

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