Venezuela: Maduro dictatorship hand picks 'opposition' for the presidential 'elections' on July 28

There are 12 candidates, in addition to the dictator. None are supported by María Corina Machado, the winner of the opposition primaries and the main opposition leader.

In an absolutely frenetic day, the National Electoral Council, controlled by Nicolás Maduro's dictatorship, finally admitted the registration of “opposition” candidates for the presidential “elections” to be held July 28.

There are 12 candidates, in addition to the dictator himself, who registered for the vote this Monday, announcing without evidence another alleged assassination attempt against him. However, all of these candidates are, in reality, adversaries who have Maduro's consent to run and who do not have the support of María Corina Machado, the leader of the Venezuelan opposition and winner of the primaries organized by the opposition.

The complete list of candidates, in addition to Maduro, is made up as follows: Luis Eduardo Martínez, Antonio Ecarri, Juan Carlos Alvarado, Daniel Ceballos, Benjamín Rausseo, Javier Bertucci, José Brito, Claudio Fermín, Luis Ratti, Enrique Marquez, Pablo Zambrano and Manuel Rosales.

In fact, Unidad Venezuela reported that there were attempts up until the last minute to register 80-year-old doctor and professor Corina Yoris, the candidate chosen to represent Machado at the polls, who has been disqualified by the Maduro regime.

Yoris, who until a couple of days ago was completely removed from the political scene, could not register despite not having any disqualification or prohibition from the National Electoral Council. The dictatorship simply blocked the candidacy and left the opposition sector led by Machado without a candidate.

In an exclusive interview with Voz Media, Yoris claimed that the problem in the registration process is that Maduro, in reality, “does not want an election, but a vote. That is, he wants you to vote mechanically, but not choose.”

Professor Yoris also said that, ultimately, the problem was not her candidacy, but rather that she represented Machado and the opposition that the Chavista regime will not allow to run.

However, at the last minute, the CNE did allow the registration of a well-known candidate in Venezuelan politics: Manuel Rosales, governor of the state of Zulia, a politician with an extensive career who in 2006 was even a presidential opponent of the late Hugo Chávez, predecessor of Maduro.

Rosales, accused by critics of being close to the dictatorship, managed to register for the July 28 elections despite constant rumors that he would not register without the support of Machado and a consensus among the opposition. At the end of the day, he broke with the opposition unit and decided to go to the CNE to formalize his candidacy, a move described as “betrayal” by various leaders of the Venezuelan opposition.

“Manuel, you did not compete in primaries and you intend to compete against Maduro…” wrote David Smolansky, a renowned political activist and defender of human rights in Venezuela. “When you award a teacher in Zulia, look him in the eyes and tell him that you refused to register Professor Corina Yoris with the regime so you could register yourself instead. At least people are clear.”

Pedro Urruchurtu, a senior member of Vente Venezuela, María Corina Machado's political group, also wrote several social media posts directed at Rosales, whom he did not mention directly.

“The factors that always played against the primary will not allow its result and its legitimacy to be endorsed; much less with games at the last minute at midnight,” Urruchurtu wrote in a post.

“The opposition held exemplary primaries and it turns out that the 'opposition' candidate that the regime ended up accepting was precisely the one who cannot participate in [the election]. Worse still, [Rosales] was the one who dedicated himself to sabotaging them. Everything is very clear,” read another post from Urruchurtu, who himself has been politically persecuted by Maduro.

At this time, María Corina Machado did not comment on Rosales' political move. However, her latest post on X established a clear position on the “candidates” handpicked by the Maduro regime.

“The mandate of the Primaries is this: fight until we achieve clean and free elections with the candidate who has the trust of the people. If the candidate is chosen by Maduro, they are not elections,” said the opponent.