International observers from more than 40 countries – including Ecuador's former President Rafael Correa and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero – have confirmed the transparency of Venezuela's electoral system and called on the international community to respect the May 20 elections.
Zapatero, who arrived in Caracas earlier this week, said in a press conference on Friday that the European Union had rejected out of "prejudice" Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduros' invitation to send a delegation of electoral observers.
"There is prejudice, and life and political experience consists of banishing prejudices and getting to know the truth firsthand," Zapatero said.
In a press conference earlier on Friday, Zapatero denied that Venezuelans were being blackmailed into voting. He also said he's still willing to promote a new dialogue between the Venezuelan opposition and the government after the elections.
"Whoever wins, on May 21 there should be an open dialogue to reach consensus of economic policy, political reform and foreign policy," Zapatero said from Miraflores, Venezuela's presidential palace.
Former Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa also arrived in Venezuela to accompany the electoral process. In an exclusive interview with teleSUR, Correas said: "No one can question the Venezuelan elections… in the world there is no election as monitored as Venezuelan elections."
Correa explained how Sunday's elections will use the same system of electoral guarantees that were put in place in 2015, when the opposition won a majority of seats in the National Assembly: "For some groups, elections are only good if they win," Correa said.
He also highlighted the Organization of American States' (OAS) double standards against Venezuela: "What are they saying about what's happening in Brazil and Honduras?"
According to the head of the Latin American Council on Electoral Experts (Ceela), Nicanor Moscoso, the Ceela delegation has met with experts and candidates ahead of Sunday's elections and confirmed "harmony in the electoral process."
Ceela member Guillermo Reyes said the delegation participated – along with representative of all parties involved – in 14 audits of the digital electoral system. All audits have been streamed live through the National Electoral Council's website.
Ceela is an institution formed by former presidents of Latin American electoral bodies. It has accompanied and observed electoral processes for the past 12 years.
Delegations have also arrived from hostile countries such as Canada, which supported calls to reject the election results. The Canadian delegation is made up of members of Common Frontiers, Unifor, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, and The United Church of Canada.
In a televised statement on Friday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed to respect the election results, no matter the outcome: "I will accept the electoral results – whatever they are – of the popular will expressed through the vote on Sunday."
International observers welcomed Maduro's announcement.