Venezuela revokes invitation for EU to observe July election

Venezuela has revoked its invitation for the European Union to send election observers for a presidential contest in July, Elvis Amoroso, the head of the National Electoral Council (CNE) said on Tuesday.

Earlier this month the EU temporarily removed individual sanctions on Amoroso, a move which he rejected, saying all sanctions on Venezuela should be lifted.

Shortly afterward, the government-controlled legislature approved a measure to ask the CNE to revoke the invitation for EU electoral observers.

"They are not worthy people to come to this country ... while they maintain sanctions," Amoroso said while reading a statement on state television.

EU sanctions are colonialist and "coercive, unilateral and genocidal," Amoroso said in the statement.

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a panel of experts from the United Nations, the African Union and the Carter Center, among others, will attend as observers, Amoroso added.

The July vote is the first time in a decade the opposition, which boycotted the 2018 election, has participated in a presidential contest.

President Nicolas Maduro of the Socialist ruling party is seeking his third term, while former ambassador Edmundo Gonzalez has thrown his hat in the ring on behalf of a major opposition coalition.

A recent survey showed 50% of voters backing Gonzalez, with 32% favoring Maduro. The poll had a margin of error of 3.16%.


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