'We don't care what imperialism, oligarchs think' on Venezuela: Maduro
President Maduro says Venezuela is indifferent to whether the Imperialist powers recognize the country's 2024 elections or not.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday that he does not care what the imperial powers nor the global elitists think regarding the country's internal affairs.
In a televised interview, Maduro said, “We don’t care what imperialism thinks, or what the oligarchies think, about the political, social, institutional, cultural and economic life of Venezuela.”
“We don’t care whether they say something or not, whether they recognize it or not," he said, in reference to the country's 2024 elections, adding that the Latin American country did not care when they [imperialists] came up with opposition leader Juan Guaido as president.
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Guaido "was not president for one hour, or even for one second. He was invented by imperialism and the right-wing oligarchy on the [American] continent and Europe that got involved in the policy of former US President Donald Trump against Venezuela," the democratically-elected Venezuelan President said.
“The presidential elections will come, the people will vote, the people will choose and, well, we will continue,” Maduro added, noting that the elected president will be inaugurated in May 2024 and will follow through Venezuela's path of peace, democracy, and public support.
A few days ago, the Popular Will Party in Venezuela - one of the opposition parties - announced that Juan Guaido is its candidate for the presidency in the face of President Nicolas Maduro in the presidential elections that will be held in 2024.
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According to Venezuela's constitution, Guaido is not eligible to run for the presidency due to court rulings issued against him, as is the case with his rival Henrique Capriles - who lost the 2012 presidential election against the late leader Hugo Chavez - and a number of other opposition figures. However, the opposition constantly denies the ineligibility of its candidates, accusing the judiciary of "submitting to the orders of the authorities."
Once ousted by the opposition, now nominated
The main coalition of opposition parties boycotted the 2018 presidential vote when Maduro won re-election for a second term, which was considered a defeat to the US and its allies' attempts to appoint their proxy as the country's leader.
Venezuela was thrown into a political crisis in January 2019 when US-backed Juan Guaido, the former head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly - an illegitimate body separate from the Venezuelan National Assembly that was formed in 2015 - declared himself "interim president" in an attempt to depose democratically re-elected President Nicolas Maduro.
On December 22, the Venezuelan opposition voted in favor of dismantling the self-proclaimed "interim government" led by Guaido, then backed in a second hearing the dissolving of Juan Guaido's self-proclaimed "interim government".
In June 2023, the Venezuelan opposition's congress replaced its head Juan Guaido after ousting him.
The Western-backed opposition is scheduled to hold a vote in October to choose a united candidate to face Maduro in the upcoming 2024 elections.
US eases blockade on Maduro's Venezuela, eyes oil
Struck with an energy-price crisis, and in attempts to lower gasoline prices for domestic consumers after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) made cuts in its production line in October 2022 in a bid to stabilize the global market, the United States steered to fill its oil gap from Venezuela.
US Treasury provided in November a new license allowing Chevron to extract oil in Venezuela for six months through its joint venture partners such as Venezuala's state-owned oil company the PDVSA. However, this license does not expand operations or allow new US investment in Venezuela's oil sector.
The first shipment of Venezuelan oil estimated at 1 million barrels, was loaded to tankers owned by US oil conglomerate Chevron earlier in January and shipped to the United States, while PDVSA currently relies on Iran for diluent supply, a much-needed component for its extra heavy oil production.
Later in January, the Latin American country's Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami announced that Venezuela inked new deals on joint business and oil production with Chevron.