Lies and Damned Lies About Venezuela’s Presidential Elections

There are continuous lies being said about Venezuela by media and politicians. As the next Venezuelan presidential elections draws near in late July there has been a plethora of unsubstantiated accusations of fraud, with nary any evidence.[1]  Steve Ellner, Professor Emeritus at the University of Oriente, Venezuela, comments on the media barrage against Venezuela: “True to form, the corporate media has completely left key issues out of their reporting on Venezuela’s upcoming elections…The biggest violator of the very essence of democracy is not Maduro, but the U.S. Washington will penalize Venezuelans if they don’t elect the candidate it openly supports.”[2]

But such as been the case every time Venezuela has had elections since Hugo Chávez was elected in 1999, the media has willfully distorted the situations to favour Washington’s candidate. You can judge a cause by its enemies, and the host of global far right extremists have lined up to disparage the excellent electoral system of Venezuela. Perhaps the most grievous lie paraded lately is that “finally” Venezuelans will be able to vote – willfully ignoring that the coming election will be the 25th election process in twenty-four years of Bolivarian government. Venezuelans love to vote, and the voter turnout has always been significant.

So, on the 28th of July 2024, there will be presidential elections in Venezuela. All the presidential, municipal and regional elections in the country are carried out with a seamless, transparent and fair electoral system of which the ex-president of the United States, Jimmy Carter famously stated: “As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” [3] The Carter Group is one of the International Observers for this coming election, along with UN Election Observers, among hundreds of other independent international observers.

Elections are the responsibility of the National Electoral Council, an independent state authority. They have five key safeguards for veracity, fairness and transparency:

+ Completely automated electronic voting, with machines that cannot be accessed by any outside computer;[4]

+ Paper voter verification of the electronic vote: in 2004 it became the first nation to add a paper trail to the electronic voting system

+ Voter ID with fingerprint of voter to verify the identify, not the voter’s choice.

+ Independent audits before the vote of the software and machines, during the voting and after the results are in

+ Hundreds of International Observers present at all elections

The Venezuelan extreme right has neurotically and irrationally screamed fraud every time they have lost. Although to be fair, this “strategy” was simply obeying orders from Washington because Washington is the real home of the extreme opposition. However, they have meekly accepted the results in elections in which its members have won seats as mayors, governors or deputies to the National Assembly (2015), and they even won a referendum (2007). Glaringly, the Electoral Authority, the regulations, laws and processes have all been the same, whether they won or lost.

Currently, of the ten candidates running for president, nine are leaders of opposition parties. Nicolás Maduro, representing the Chavismo forces, is standing for re-election and the polls show he has a huge advantage (55.6%) over all other candidates.[5] The extremist section of the opposition is led by a well-known agent of Washington, Maria Corina Machado, a scion of two prominent families of the wealthy, privileged elite. In 2014 she was found guilty of malfeasance by the Venezuelan judiciary and disqualified from running for public office. Her disqualification was recently upheld by the Supreme Court.[6] Machado has been a consistent supporter of the economic sanctions against Venezuela and has repeatedly called for US foreign military intervention against her own country to oust President Maduro. Astonishingly, she has even written to Israeli leader Netanyahu asking him to militarily intervene in Venezuela to overthrow Maduro. [7] To say that she is one of the most despised figures of Venezuelan politics is an understatement. A full 72% of Venezuelans believe that she, and all the opposition leaders who have asked for US military intervention, should be indicted.[8]

Although Machado cannot be a candidate, she is running the campaign of one Edmundo González, a stand-in for her, and she campaigns as if she were the candidate. Machado and her ilk in the past presidential election (2018) advocated that people abstain from voting and was adamantly supportive of the violent street riots of 2014 and 2017 that caused many deaths, injuries and damages to property. One young man was burned alive because they considered  his dark skin proof he was a Chavista. Many street dogs were also burnt alive for the fun of it, and thousands of urban trees were destroyed. Venezuela had never in its entire modern political life witnessed virulence. For his part, Gonzalez was recruited by the CIA and, as a member of the Venezuelan embassy in El Salvador, participated in the financing and logistics of death squads that tormented that nation during the 1980s.[9] Both Machado and González have blood-stained hands.

The danger of violence in Venezuela is further exacerbated by the refusal of two candidates, Edmundo González and Enrique Márquez another far-right candidate, to sign a declaration requested by the Electoral Authority, promising they will respect the elections results and abjure any violence in its aftermath. The stage is set. This refusal to accept the result of the democratic process by which the president is selected, is a harbinger of social unrest typical of far-right extremists. President Maduro has publicly denounced plans by the far right to create social unrest after the elections, as they have always tried to do, but he has warned: “Fascists, we will not permit this, in Venezuela peace is going to be triumphant, before, during and after the 28th of July.”[10]

This week saw the marvelous news that Julian Assange mercifully was freed from the prison he has endured because he dared expose  the lies fed to the world about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He told of the torture that was commonly inflicted on prisoners and the indiscriminate killing of civilians by the USA and its allies. For acting as a professional, principled journalist, he was submitted to extraordinary individual punishment:  imprisoned in a 2×3 meter cell, isolated 23 hours a day, for more than 5 years, following 9 years confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

The people of Venezuela have withstood collective punishment. Like Assange, they too have been punished but during twenty-four years and the truth that their government is democratic has been maliciously misrepresented as authoritarian around the world.  Venezuela has not had a champion like Assange who can take on the world media and the bellicose empire of the North.  However, it does have as champions, millions of Venezuelans who have risked their lives, livelihood, peace and prosperity, to vote for and support  their preferred government and their socialist and democratic way of living. There are thousands of communal counsels and communes and other grass-roots organizations flourishing throughout the nation, engaging in political life, that are witnesses to Venezuela’s participatory democracy that cancels out any authoritarian tendency.[11]

Venezuelans have had to endure coups d’etat attempts, street violence that killed, maimed and destroyed property, sabotage of electrical and water systems, invasion by mercenaries, plots to engage criminal prisoners in political turmoil and riots, arson to oil installations, attempts to murder the president, assassination of rural and political leaders, and even a fearful five-day cyberattack that left the country entirely without electricity. Some have had to walk to voting stations ducking bullets of far-right thugs designed to stop them from voting.  Plus, they have had to endure the deliberate, unrelenting, international vilification of their country and way of life in a stream of far-fetched lies fed to and by the mainstream media which has spread these false assertions with complete disregard for basic journalistic principles of verification and balance.

The corollary of this persecution has been the illegal, unilateral sanctions imposed by the USA on Venezuela, all 930 of them. It is estimated that they have caused the country a loss in its GDP of $232 billion.[12] Only Russia has been more sanctioned than Venezuela. The sanctions have been denounced by two UN Human Rights Raconteurs as unjust, illegal and constituting collective punishment.[13] Because of the illegal sanctions, Venezuela has been prevented from producing and selling its oil, and from trading in international markets including food and medicines. It is estimated that more than 100,000 Venezuelans have died due to these sanctions.[14] Machado and González both insist the sanctions have not hurt Venezuela, disregarding all evidence to the contrary.[15]

To cover their bloody tracks and mendaciousness, the USA, EU and Canada go on about “protecting Venezuelan democracy”, demanding “clean” elections. And they who imprisoned the innocent Assange and who run secret prisons such as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, dare demand from the Venezuelan judicial authorities the freedom of people jailed, not for their ideas but who were convicted of actual crimes such as murder and trying to kill the president and overthrow the government.

As for the Canadian government, that drones on and on a mantra of defending “the rule of law”, the hypocrisy is gagging. That country created and led the Lima Group, a cabal of extreme right-wing governments of dubious legitimacy, with the express objective of achieving “regime change” in Venezuela. When the Lima Group collapsed under the pressure of the political corruption of those very same governments, hardly a word was said about it in the Canadian media.

All this persecution of Venezuela is to appropriate its vast petroleum reserves, not to mention its gold and other desirable natural resources. The country has already been robbed of billions of its foreign assets, including bank accounts, its huge US-based oil company CITGO (valued at $13 billion), and the gold reserves of its central bank held in the Bank of England (31 tons of gold). To add to this grievous affront, the bulk of the Venezuelan assets were handed over to the fake “government” that the US conjured up in the person of J. Guaido who, along with his cabal of international criminals, instigated and helped rob Venezuela and have used these assets to fund the extreme opposition and for their own personal gain and licentious living.

What the USA wants is to utterly control Venezuela’s petroleum reserves, the largest in the world. Furthermore, it is unpalatable to this northern behemoth of capitalism, that such a small nation, in what they patronizingly consider their own “back yard”, dare defy them by asserting its sovereignty and choosing socialism as its system of government.

The people of Venezuela will decide on July 28 if they want a government of people who deny what they have suffered, their dead and maimed, who watched their children and old parents go hungry,  who were responsible for the cancelling of thousands  of medical treatments and who urged that COVID vaccines not be sold to Venezuela and who allied themselves to bands of common criminals and narco- bands to create chaos on the streets of their cities.

Or they may want to vote for Nicolás Maduro, who, with an extraordinarily competent governmental team, in cooperation with thousands of grassroots organizations, brought back to life the Venezuelan economy to such an extent that inflation is the lowest it has been in many decades. Despite the blockade of sanctions, his economic policies have achieved an economic growth rate unrivaled in the region (7% GDP growth this year), has achieved food security by making the country self-sufficient in food. His government has built 5 million public housing units in the past 7 years. Most astonishingly, despite being denied western vaccines, the Maduro government protected its people from a COVID pandemic to such an extent that Venezuela had one of the lowest death rate in the continent.[16]

Above all, Nicolás Maduro has brought peace and security to Venezuela.[17]

It’s no contest. Nicolás Maduro will win on July 28th.



[2] Steve Ellner as quoted by Alan MacLeod, MintPress News, 26 June 2024

[3] Jimmy Carter, The Guardian, 30 October 2012

[4] The voting machines are produced by the multinational corporation Smartmatic, model SAES (Smart Auditable Election System) selected in 2004 having obtained the highest score aagainst its competitors as to security and auditability of the system.

[5] Interlaces poll” Presdient Maduro Leads Voter Preference with 55.6% Support, while far-right Edmundo Gonzalez Gets 22.2%”, Orinoco Tribune, 16 June, 2024,


[7] “Revelan document de Maria Corina Machado pidiéndole a Netanyahu intervención militar a Venezuela”, Diario El Universal, 28/05/2024,


[9] This was revealed by  Colombian ambassador Maria Catalina Restrepo Pinzon de Londoño.

[10] “Madro denuncia plan de violencia de la oposicion contra elecciones venezolanas’, Sputnik, 10 junio 2024, El Paí,

[11] George Ciccariello-Maher, “Building The Commune – Radical Democracy in Venezuela”, VERSO,2016

[12] Delcy Rodriguez,”Sanciones han dejado mas de $232 mil millones en perdidas”, Diario El Regional del Zulia, 15 mayo 2024,

[13] Alfred De Zayas, “Economic Sancations Kill”, March 18, 2022, COUNTERPUNCH,

Alina Douhan, in” US-led sanctions on Venezuela devastating to human rights says UN report”, Stefano Pozzebon and Caitlin Hu, CNN, 12 Feb. 2021,


Venezuela: La estela de la Muerte y destruccion que dejan las sanciones”, Resumen Latinoamericano, 18 junio 2023,



[17] Roger Harris, “How Venezuela is Overcoming the United States Blockade”, Popular Resistance, 27 June, 2024


María Páez Victor, Ph.D. is a Venezuelan born sociologist living in Canada.