Venezuela elects President on 28th July 2024

By Francisco Dominguez, VSC Secretary

In Venezuela, elections are organised by the National Electoral Council, which has Constitutional status. It is composed of five people: three of them nominated by civil society, one by the faculties of legal and political sciences of national universities, and one by the Citizen’s Power.

The electoral system is very sophisticated and efficient: the Carter Center judges it to be the most secure in the world. After registering their electronic vote, the voter receives a printed proof that he or she deposits in the ballot box, and at the end of the day the electronic and printed ballots must coincide. Then each participating party has an electronic key and results are sent only when all participants validate it at the same time. At all levels, the parties must validate the results and then, at random, 54% of the votes are verified manually. 

In Bolivarian Venezuela, each election also has at least 14 audits, before, during and after the electoral process; audits that include the participation of all political parties participating in the election, as well as election technicians, computerised electoral systems technicians, and representatives of all institutions and/or national and international organisations invited to accompany the election (see details of the audits of a typical election here:

Elections with sanctions

The current elections take place in the context of the failure of many attempts to destabilise or overthrow by force the legitimate institutions of Venezuela, especially the democratically elected government of President Maduro, with the aim of destroying the Bolivarian process. But their failures are illustrated by the pathetic spectacle of Juan Guaidó, a parallel self-declared ‘president’ sponsored by Washington and Brussels, vanishing along with tens of millions of euros.

Attempts at invasions, assassination of President Maduro, and mercenary attacks have not succeeded in overthrowing the government. But the greatest damage has been done by the 930 unilateral coercive measures applied by the US against Venezuela, which resulted in blocking 95% of oil exports: what country could resist such an attack? It was the most vulnerable (the chronically ill, pregnant women, cancer patients, children and such like) who suffered the brunt of the violence of the coercive measures. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, 40,000 Venezuelans died as a result of this US aggression against Venezuela.

Self-determination: upholding sacrosanct national sovereignty

The founding Charter of the United Nations established the principle of the right of self-determination of peoples to determine their future. The UN Charter affirms “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples” (Article 1), and that Un member states “in their international relations, refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state” (Article 2).

These and other key principles of international law have been violently transgressed by the US and its main geopolitical accomplice, the European Union, for 25 years now. Unilateral coercive measures constitute crimes against humanity.

In Venezuela, one of the first measures of the Chávez government was to break the country’s dependence on the IMF and the World Bank. It also sought to break Venezuela’s almost exclusive dependence on the US market for its oil exports by among other measures, strengthening OPEC and opening up to trading partners in Asia, accompanied by a vigorous development effort to create a multipolar world. 

The central leadership role that Venezuela plays has played and continues to play in efforts to achieve regional integration in Latin America points to the strengthening and collective defence of national sovereignty and the right to self-determination, some manifestations of which are the regional organisations UNASUR, CELAC and ALBA-TCP. 

The European Union, the US’s accomplice

The European Union has consistently supported the aggression against Bolivarian Venezuela. Among other aggressions, European governments have allowed European financial institutions to illegally hold more than US$8 billion in deposited accounts belonging to the nation and people of Venezuela. Of particular note is the attempted pirate theft of 31 tons of gold deposited by Venezuela in the Bank of England ( There is no legal, political, moral or any other basis to justify such theft.

The European Union’s abject subordination to the US is self-serving because it seeks to participate in the distribution of the juicy spoils that would result from the overthrow of the Bolivarian government. And for this reason, it applies its own coercive measures against Venezuela’s sovereignty, thus actively contributing to the suffering of the Venezuelan people. 

Europe can learn from Venezuela: the government works to solve problems in the interests of the nation and its inhabitants.

Democracy has been deepened from representative to participatory democracy, the salient features of which are the expansion of economic, social, cultural and political rights for increasingly broader strata of Venezuelan society, including the empowerment of grassroots organisations in decision-making, the empowerment and organisation of women, access to universal and free health care and education, as well as the right to housing. Almost 5 million houses have been built for the people, despite the horrible conditions created by the unilateral coercive measures, an achievement unparalleled in any European country.

Political stabilisation and economic recovery

The government of Nicolás Maduro has managed to restructure the Venezuelan economy and institutions to better defend the people from sanctions and other forms of aggression. The National Assembly has been re-invigorated as a public authority, and 74 laws were passed in 2023 alone, compared to only one in 2015. Parliament also elected a new National Electoral Council (NEC) and called a constitutional referendum on the status of Essequiba Guyana that was overwhelmingly approved.

As for the economy, it closed its tenth consecutive quarter of economic growth with a GDP increase of 5% in 2023, after a severe economic recession triggered by the sanctions. Oil activity has grown by 13% with in-house investment, and businesses are confident, since private manufacturing activity has increased by more than 4% in the last ten quarters, as has commercial activity. The government has also achieved exchange rate stability and has put an end to hyperinflation, which the IMF predicted would be 10 million% in 2018 but it has been reduced since 2023 to single digits monthly. 

Finally, as an essential element of national sovereignty, Venezuela is self-sufficient in the production of foodstuffs, including vegetables, fruits, tubers, coffee, white cheese and milk, pork, beef, chicken and fish. Venezuela has a food distribution program called CLAP (Local Committees of Supply and Production, in its Spanish acronym), which guarantees food security for almost 8 million families. 97% of the food supplied by the CLAPs is homegrown (up from 7% in 2017).

Democratic elections in Venezuela for the thirty first time

The National Electoral Council, in compliance with its constitutional duties and legal attributions, has set July 28, 2024 as the date for the next presidential elections, as well as the electoral schedule for its realisation.

The President of the NEC, Elvis Amoroso, informed Venezuela’s citizens that the decision was made taking into account the Caracas Agreement signed last February 28 by different sectors of the political, social, religious and economic life of the country (several of them in opposition to the Bolivarian Government). This is the result of the permanent dialogue that President Maduro has been promoting and encouraging for many years. 

This will be the 31st electoral process in Bolivarian Venezuela and, as always, it will have all the guarantees that have typified all elections since 1999, which led former President Jimmy Carter to affirm that the Venezuelan electoral system is the best in the world. 

Several corporate media outlets have partly focused their coverage of the upcoming elections in Venezuela on the disqualification of the far-right politician, María Corina Machado, falsely suggesting that these elections would not be free, quoting spokespersons of the far-right aligned with Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López. 

Such reports neglect the key fact that any politician disqualified from holding or running for office would not be able to stand in the presidential elections, as confirmed in the October 23, 2023 Barbados Agreement, signed by the government and the opposition, unless rescinded through appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice.

On January 26, 2024, the Supreme Court ratified the political disqualification of María Corina Machado for the following reasons:

  • participating in the corruption scheme orchestrated by Juan Guaidó in the dispossession of companies and wealth of the Venezuelan people, such as the delivery of the company Citgo worth approximately US$ 34 billion to the Canadian company Crystallex for US$ 1.5 billion, and driving the agrochemical company Monómeros to bankruptcy;

  • requesting the application of sanctions and economic blockade against the country, generating the seizure of billions of dollars retained in the international banking system

  • violating Article 191 of the Constitution by agreeing, while a deputy in Venezuela, to represent Panama before the OAS;

  • committing treason by signing a communiqué requesting the invasion of foreign forces against Venezuela; and

  • engaging in other related felonies, such as not respecting the electoral programs and attempting to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro by all means, including military intervention or even a coup d’état 

The purpose of the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice is to ensure that the elections are held without foreign interference, at a time when the most violent sectors of the opposition, such as the extreme right-wing politician Maria Corina Machado and her accomplices, including Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López, are seeking to revive the violence.

In this as in all elections in Venezuela the NEC has issued invitations to several international organisations as observers of the presidential election to be held on 28 July 2024, including the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Carter Center, the UN Panel of Experts, the BRICS, the Inter-American Union of Electoral Bodies (UNIORES), with all institutions having to comply with the regulations governing electoral observation. 

For all the above reasons, we call for:

  1. Respect for the sovereign decision of the Venezuelan people so that, without foreign interference or interference of any kind, especially from the US and its complicit lackey, the European Union, they can express their will as citizens in elections free of pressure, blackmail and unilateral coercive measures.

  2. A guarantee that these elections are truly free by the lifting totally, absolutely and unconditionally all unilateral coercive measures by both the US and the EU. 

  3. Rejection of any attempt to disregard the decisions of Venezuela’s highest electoral authority, the NEC, as well as its institutions with regard to electoral regulations, as well as the constitutional, legal and jurisprudential decisions taken by the Supreme Court in relation to disqualifications and issues related to the election to be held on 28 July 2024.

  4. Rejection of any attempt to change the government by illegal, unconstitutional and/or violent means.

  5. Unconditional respect for the national sovereignty of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its right to self-determination including its right to choose the government and economic system of the people’s choice without foreign intervention and interference, including the financing and subversion (by the CIA, USAID and NED, among others) of minority sectors of the Venezuelan extreme right.

  6. All governments of the European Union and the USA to establish a constructive dialogue with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela without preconditions.