Venezuela Says EU Won’t Oversee 2024 Vote If Sanctions Persist

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela’s head of congress said he would not invite European electoral observers next year after the European Union extended sanctions on fifty Venezuelan officials.

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Jorge Rodríguez said the EU “could not be partial and objective” after it extended sanctions on dozens of government officials on Monday, including the head of the electoral body, Elvis Amoroso, for another six months.

This is the second time Rodríguez publicly rejects observation from the European group, but the first since reaching an agreement with Venezuela’s opposition for free and fair elections in exchange for the easing of sanctions. Rodríguez, a close ally of President Nicolás Maduro, said the EU would not be invited to oversee the 2024 presidential vote as long as their sanctions remained in place.

Read More: EU Shortens Venezuela Sanctions Review Amid US Democracy Push

Rodríguez said the EU had violated the agreement by extending sanctions, even though it exceptionally shortened the measures’ review period from 12 months to 6 months. As part of the deal signed in October, Venezuela had agreed to invite five organizations, including the EU, to oversee next year’s elections.

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