- Venezuela has asked the EU to send election observers.
- The EU has said that it is essential to have EU observers on the ground in Venezuela.
- The opposition is boycotting.
The European Union has come under heavy criticism from the European People’s Party (EPP) after organizing a diplomatic mission to Venezuela. The move, according to the party leaders, is inappropriate and sends a message to Nicolas Maduro’s regime that he is the recognized leader of the nation.
The EPP party sent a letter sent to Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union, underlining this. It read in part as follows.
“It is as unthinkable as it would be currently unthinkable to send an EU mission to talk to the Lukashenko regime behind the back of the Belarusian opposition. That is exactly what this decision is doing at the moment with the Venezuelan democrats. Your mission gives the impression that for the EU, the legitimate interlocutor of the EU in Venezuela is the Maduro regime.”
The European Union has defended the move, and said that it is essential to have EU observers on the ground in Venezuela once the presidential election kicks off in December. This, according to the organization, will help ensure that the elections are free and fair.
The bloc has already made a request to the Venezuelan government to have the elections pushed back by a few months so as to prepare for the undertaking. Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro, has, however, shot down the prospect, and said that there will be no postponement of the elections.
According to Manfred Weber, who leads the European People’s Party, legitimizing Maduro through a clandestine diplomatic mission is inadmissible. According to the politician, the Venezuelan leader should instead be made to appear before the International Criminal Court to face human rights abuse charges.
The latest development comes a few weeks after an invitation by the Maduro administration. His government wants United Nations and EU leaders to send election observers to help verify the credibility of the Venezuelan elections.
EU ministers and Latin American officials have, however, stated that such a move would require more time for preparation.
Maduro Wants to Prove He is the Legitimate Leader of Venezuela
The US government has slapped sanctions on Venezuela’s top-ranking government officials, as well its state oil company, PDVSA. This is in a bid to undermine the economy and pressure Maduro into relinquishing power. Maduro has accused the US administration of trying to oust him in order to seize the nation’s vast crude oil reserves.
The US has already said it will not legitimize another fraudulent election in Venezuela by sending observers. The Venezuelan government has tried to demonstrate its commitment to undertake free and fair elections by pardoning over 100 people. They include incarcerated and exiled opposition politicians.
The nation’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, who is backed by the US government, has signaled that he will be boycotting the elections as current conditions are unfair.