Luis Almagro: Elections Would Only Sink Venezuela To More Years of Dictatorship

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro warned on Saturday about Venezuela’s presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place later this year. Almagro, who has heavily criticized Venezuela’s government in the past, said during an event in Doral that no elections coming from this dictatorship, under these conditions, is going to bring a political change to Venezuelans.

The OAS Secretary General said that holding presidential elections this year would only tie Venezuelans to six more years of Nicolas Maduro. He added that elections would represent the worst sanctions to Venezuelans.

In recent years, Almagro has criticized the Venezuelan government for the political prisoners, its actions during the 2017 protests and many other things happening in the country. The OAS Secretary General didn’t mention the dialogue between the opposition and government but his comments are a critic against the opposition officials who are trying to negotiate.

The Venezuelan opposition and government have held talks and scheduled meetings for a dialogue in recent months. The sides have not made any agreements but reports say that the government wants its controversial constituent assembly to be recognized by the opposition. They also want the opposition to ask for the sanctions to be removed. The government often blames the sanctions from the US and other countries for the crisis. In the proposed deal, the opposition would be allowed to participate in the presidential elections.

Recent elections in the country have shown big support for the government, despite other numbers revealing that the government doesn’t have much support. Experts believe that the government is not willing to leave power and will do anything to win the elections. The election for the constituent assembly saw more than eight million people vote, according to electoral authorities. The results were more than double the estimates. The company behind the voting machines later said that the turnout was manipulated.

Since those elections, the US and other countries have announced sanctions against officials and the state oil company. Almagro added during his speech that the suffering of the population would extend for at least six more years if the elections happened.

Venezuela’s presidential elections are scheduled to take place some time this year but reports say the government is planning to speed up the process to seek another win. Last month, President Nicolas Maduro banned the three main opposition parties from participating in the elections after they decided not to participate in the municipal elections.