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Gonzalez of the Venezuelan opposition says the government would not have blocked the candidacy now if that was its plan

Venezuelan opposition candidate Edmundo Gonzalez said on Friday that President Nicolas Maduro’s government would have already barred him from public office if it had planned to block his presidential bid. Gonzalez, 74, a former diplomat in Algeria and Argentina, was named last month by the opposition Unitary Platform coalition as a candidate for the July 28 presidential election, after landslide primary winner Maria Corina Machado was banned from holding office that was upheld by the Supreme Court. .

Opposition members and analysts have warned that the ruling party could take action to ban Gonzalez or prevent opposition parties from appearing on the ballot. “They would have done it already,” Gonzalez told Reuters when asked if he thought he was facing a ban. “Once they accepted me, once they accepted another party that supported my candidacy, I don’t think there will be any problems,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez will appear on the ballot for three opposition parties, while Maduro will likely represent thirteen parties. “You can expect all kinds of actions, attempts to boycott or hinder the candidacy, but this has now really reached an advanced stage,” he added, referring to the campaign for the July elections.

Gonzalez said he has already met with representatives from the Carter Center and the European Union, who will act as election observers. The former diplomat would not be interested in sanctions against Maduro’s government by Washington, which last month again imposed broad measures on the oil industry because Maduro had not adhered to an electoral agreement with the opposition.

Asked about foreign debt obligations

In his confrontation with Venezuela, Gonzalez said the country has “always fulfilled its international obligations.” If chosen

Gonzalez said rebuilding a normal diplomatic relationship with the United States would be a priority. “We have broken all existing ties of cooperation and they must be restored,” Gonzalez said, adding that Venezuela needs more attention from the international community.

Gonzalez said he was preparing to campaign in the center of the country. Several opposition leaders, including Machado, have toured Venezuela to encourage voters to go to the polls for the opposition. A More Consulting poll last month, before Gonzalez was named as a candidate, showed that 46% of respondents planned to support the Machado-backed candidate, while about 21% planned to vote for Maduro.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)