MCM and Gonzalez


#2024WCA: Interview with Venezuela's Edmundo González and María Corina Machado

The opposition leaders spoke about what is needed to ensure free and fair elections on July 28 in a conversation with AS/COA Chairman Andrés Gluski.


  • Edmundo González Urrutia, Opposition Presidential Candidate 
  • María Corina Machado, Opposition Leader
  • Andrés Gluski, Chairman, Council of the Americas

“What I’m perceiving from the people is an enthusiasm… to participate,” said Edmundo González Urrutia, Venezuela opposition presidential candidate. In an interview conducted for the 54th Annual Washington Conference, he—alongside opposition leader María Corina Machado—spoke with AS/COA Chairman Andrés Gluski ahead of the country's July 28 elections.

“What I want to tell you all is that this is different from previous moments. Now we have a legitimated leadership, we have a candidate that has the support of the Venezuelan people and all the … democratic political parties,” said Machado. Although she won an opposition primary last year, she was disqualified by the Maduro regime. Now, she is helping González's campaign. And she is hopeful. “We have a huge civil movement that is growing and growing that has over 80 percent of support,” she said. 

What can the international community do to help ensure fair and free elections occur? “The presence of your international community here in Venezuela before and during the act of voting is vital for us,” said González. 

Both leaders noted that the stakes are high. A Maduro victory “would be a devastating outcome [for] regional political stability,” said Machado, noting that it would worsen an exodus from the country and embolden non-democratic actors. 

Still, they remain optimistic. “This goes beyond an electoral process. This has turned into an existential fight, even a spiritual one,” said Machado.