Venezuelan Opposition to Reevaluate Ties with Cuba if Elected

Thursday, May 23, 2024 by Christopher Ramirez

The relationship between Venezuela and Cuba will be scrutinized by the South American nation's government if opposition candidate Edmundo González wins the upcoming presidential election.

"We need to reevaluate our relations with Cuba, because it is not just about SAIME (Automated Service of Identification, Migration, and Foreigners), but also about ports and airports, identification services, intelligence services, and a wide array of cooperation agreements that must be reviewed in the current context," González said in an interview with Voice of America.

The statements from Nicolás Maduro's contender, the current president seeking re-election for a second term with the backing of Cuban intelligence services, are likely to cause concern among the leaders of the Island.

However, Edmundo González assured that under his hypothetical administration, his country would maintain relations with all nations across the globe. "We will have relations with all countries in the world, based on peace, respect, and national interests; not ideological interests," he stated, leaving the door open for dialogue with authoritarian governments in the region, such as Cuba and Nicaragua, and even beyond.

He also discussed a transition process between the current government and his own if the opposition were to win, specifying the need to "offer all the necessary guarantees to ensure a peaceful and secure transition."

The candidate, along with his team, expressed confidence, stating, "We are very confident that we will bring about a profound change in Venezuela. We will reinstitutionalize the country, restore democracy, and establish a government for all, inclusive of everyone. We aim for the reunion of Venezuelans and the return of those living abroad."

Edmundo González was designated as the unitary candidate of the Venezuelan opposition just a month ago, following the disqualification of María Corina Machado, a prominent political figure, from holding public office for 15 years after a Supreme Court ruling in January. Despite this, Machado has stood by the candidate and even participated in campaign events where he could not be present.

Recently, the Organization of American States (OAS) presented the seventh annual report from the Casla Institute, which shares lessons of democracy and economy from the transformation of former communist countries in Eastern Europe with Latin America. This study, prepared by independent international experts, denounces Cuban advisory involvement in Venezuela's repressive machinery and calls upon the International Criminal Court to investigate its role and participation in crimes against humanity in Venezuela.

These findings come at a time when both regimes have had frequent interactions. The first was during Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel's visit to Venezuela for the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) summit. The second was during an official visit to the Island by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yvan Gil Pinto, who was assured that Cuba would maintain "cooperation with Venezuela as long as you need it."

Implications of Reevaluating Venezuela-Cuba Relations

Given the potential changes in Venezuela's political landscape, several questions arise regarding the implications of revisiting the Venezuela-Cuba relationship. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.

Why does Edmundo González want to reevaluate relations with Cuba?

Edmundo González believes that the extensive cooperation agreements with Cuba, including those related to SAIME, ports, airports, and intelligence services, need to be reassessed in the current context.

How does González plan to handle international relations under his administration?

González intends to establish peaceful and respectful relations with all countries, prioritizing national interests over ideological ones.

What steps are being taken to ensure a smooth transition if the opposition wins?

González has emphasized offering all necessary guarantees to ensure a peaceful and secure transition between the current government and his potential administration.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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