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The U.S. government, along with 30 other world leaders condemned the decision of Venezuela’s highest court to block the presidential candidacy of María Corina Machado.
President Biden previously threatened the South American country to reimpose economic sanctions on Venezuela if it failed to allow fair democratic elections.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, the U.S. State Department said it is reviewing Venezuela’s election process after Venezuela’s highest court-the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia- ruled that Machado would not be allowed to run for president.
“The United States is currently reviewing our Venezuela sanctions policy, based on this development and the recent political targeting of democratic opposition candidates and civil society,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said.
VENEZUELA’S HIGHEST COURT UPHOLDS BAN ON OPPOSITION PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
Maria Corina Machado, banned opposition presidential primary candidate for the Vente Venezuela party, center, celebrates during an election night rally in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. (Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
People argue with election officials at a polling station that did not open on time, during regional elections, in the San Agustin neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021.
The move comes after Venezuela’s highest court upheld a ban on Machado’s candidacy.
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Machado, a former lawmaker, won the opposition’s independently run presidential primary in October with more than 90% of the vote.
President Nicolas Maduro speaks to pro-government supporters after a referendum regarding Venezuela’s claim to Essequibo, a region administered and controlled by Guyana, in Caracas, Venezuela, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)
Her victory came despite the government announcing a 15-year ban on her running for office just days after she formally entered the race in June.
She was able to participate in the primary election because the effort was organized by a commission independent of Venezuela’s electoral authorities.
Machado rejected the ban and has continued to campaign against incumbent President Nicolás Maduro.
She had argued that she never received an official notification of the ban, and insisted that voters were the rightful decision-makers of her candidacy.
The Venezuelan government and the opposition have agreed to an appeals process for banned candidates in the upcoming presidential election. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos, File)
In December, she filed a claim with the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to confirm that the ban was null and void, and to pursue an injunction to protect her political rights.
Instead, the court ruled against her and upheld the ban.
Preventing Machado and other candidates from running would go against an agreement between the government of President Maduro and U.S.-backed opposition figures last year.
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The agreement caused the U.S. government to ease some sanctions on Venezuela’s oil, gas, and mining industries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sarah Rumpf-Whitten is a breaking news writer for Fox News Digital and Fox Business.
She is a native of Massachusetts and is based in Orlando, Florida.
Story tips and ideas can be sent to [email protected] and on X: @s_rumpfwhitten.