The Venezuela Election Deal Is a Win for Everyone—For Now

The Venezuela Election Deal Is a Win for Everyone—For Now
Maria Corina Machado holds the Venezuelan flag as she waves to her supporters after being named the winner of the opposition’s presidential primary election, Caracas, Venezuela, Oct. 23, 2023 (DPA photo by Jesus Vargas via AP Images).

Last week’s news out of Venezuela was a temporary win for nearly every actor involved. But we won’t know who the long-term winners are for many months to come.

Here’s what we know for sure. The government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro signed an agreement with the country’s political opposition guaranteeing that an election will be held in the second half of 2024, and that it will be monitored by observers from the European Union and the United Nations. The deal says both sides can choose their own candidates, though it did not immediately lift the bans on holding office that have been slapped on some of the opposition candidates—including Maria Corina Machado, who just won the opposition’s presidential primary election held yesterday.

However, nearly everyone who understands the private negotiations that went into reaching this agreement suggests that the deal included many elements that weren’t explicitly written out. While we don’t know all of those unwritten elements, at least some of them began to emerge within hours.

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