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Venezuela, presidential election will be on July 28th.

Venezuela schedules presidential elections for July 28, Chávez’s birthday.

On March 1, Maduro told President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) that elections in Venezuela would be scheduled for the second half of this year and, after a ‘broad agreement with the opposition’, the election will have international observers and an audit of the results will be carried out.

The  presidential elections in Venezuela  will be held on July 28, following the terms of the agreement between the government and the opposition, the electoral authority reported this Tuesday (5).

Traditionally, elections in the country take place in December. July 28th is Hugo Chávez’s birthday.

Elvis Amoroso, president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), a government-controlled body, announced that the body’s board unanimously approved the election date.

Nicolás Maduro will probably try to be re-elected.

Reaction in the Brazilian government

Among members of the Brazilian government, the scheduling of a day for voting in Venezuela was seen as a relief.

In October last year, the Venezuelan government and the opposition reached an agreement on the elections and signed a document called the Barbados Agreement, which establishes guidelines for how the elections should take place. According to the terms, the vote for president should be held in the second half of 2024.

As the date set by the National Electoral Council is in July, it is within that period, which pleased members of the Brazilian government, but who asked not to be identified.

Even though they are relieved with a step forward, with the date set, members of the Brazilian government make a point of remembering that traditionally the election is held at the end of the year, and that the proximity to the elections can give rise to risks, as it is “too early” , as there are impasses created by the Maduro government to be resolved.

Maria Corina Machado

In January, months after the signing of the Barbados Agreement, the Supreme Court of Justice, aligned with Maduro’s government, disqualified Maria Corina Machado, currently the country’s main opposition politician.

On the occasion, the Brazilian government published a note to request compliance with the agreement: “The agreements, which established parameters for the holding of presidential elections this year, resulted from the dialogue table between the government and opposition mediated by Norway and received support, among others , Brazil and the USA”, said the text from the Brazilian government.

Lula spoke with Maduro about elections

On March 1st, Maduro told President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) that elections in Venezuela would be scheduled for the second half of this year and, after a “broad agreement with the opposition”, the election will have international observers and an audit of the results will be carried out.

According to Lula’s advisors, Maduro was the one who raised the issue of the elections. Before the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac) summit, as reported by Reuters, Lula had already decided to bring up the topic.

One of the issues was compliance with the Barbados agreement, mediated by the United States with support from Brazil, which led to an agreement with the opposition. The disqualification of oppositionist María Corina Machado in January raised doubts about whether the process would go as agreed, but a source told the Reuters news agency that the majority of the opposition treated the opposition leader’s withdrawal as an expected fact.

Venezuela from Essequibo

Lula also intended to raise the issue of Maduro’s fiery oratory on the Essequibo issue. There is a fear that, during the elections, the Venezuelan president will again threaten to occupy the region belonging to Guyana.

In an interview in Guyana, on Thursday, President Lula stated that he would tell Maduro about his position, that differences need to be resolved through dialogue.

Another topic of the meeting was Venezuela’s debt to Brazil. Maduro, who presented Lula with indices that show an improvement in the country’s economic indicators, such as inflation, said that his government would try to move forward in paying off the debt so that it would be possible to resume trade between the two countries.

Also according to Planalto, the two presidents also addressed the fight against illegal mining, especially in Yanomami indigenous lands, which cover areas of both countries.

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