In a recent op-ed published by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro reaffirmed his commitment to a “clean” electoral process and to upheld Venezuelan democracy as a popular democracy in which the “economy must serve the people.”
Maduro is one of five candidates who will compete for the presidency in the upcoming elections on May 20, which are being boycotted by part of the Venezuelan opposition and opposed by some members of the international community, including the European Union and the so-called Lima Group.
Despite opposition, Maduro insisted the election is a way to overcome political violence. “We got tired of living polarized and decided to turn the guarimba’s political violence into constituent power.”
Maduro also stressed the importance of securing a space for those who think differently within democratic institutions and highlighted that 14 of 18 political parties in Venezuela signed the democratic guarantees agreement prior to the May 20 elections.
Furthermore, the Venezuelan government has issued several invitations to the Spanish government, the European Union and the United Nations to send electoral observer missions. The EU has not only failed to confirm their participation as observers but its parliament voted Wednesday to call for the elections to be postponed, and urged authorities to involve all democratic forces.
In his article Maduro also protested against interventionist policies and assured the Bolivarian Revolution will be able to overcome the economic attacks launched by the United States and European countries creatively.
“We decided to respond to the inhuman comercial blockade… that has harm our people so much, with the creation of the first cryptocurrency backed by resources, the petro. We are already investing its benefits in the people,” Maduro wrote.
In his article Maduro argues Venezuelan democracy is different from other democracies “formed by and for the elites... In Venezuela democracy is for the many and what is just is what is good for all people.”
Although the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition MUD) decided not to participate in the elections, former governor and MUD member Henri Falcon has already began his political campaign openly criticizing attempts to boycott them.
The decision to hold early elections was one of the results of a series of talks between the Venezuelan government and the country's right-wing opposition to establish an agreement for “democratic coexistence.”
Representatives of the MUD backed out of the agreement shortly after new sanctions were announced by former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his Latin American tour. Former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who served as mediator during the talks, criticized the Venezuelan opposition for abandoning dialogue.