On Thursday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tweeted that the government will accept international election observers and give any necessary guarantees ahead of the April 22 presidential elections.
“Venezuela is open to every necessary guarantee and welcomes every international observer willing to come. More than to inspect, they will be able to learn from the flawless electoral system we've built,” read the tweet.
Maduro expressed this decision after the National Electoral Council recently announced the next elections date, to be on April 22.
Venezuela está abierta a dar todas las garantías necesarias y recibir a todos los observadores internacionales que quieran venir. Más que a inspeccionar, podrán aprender del impecable sistema electoral que hemos construido.— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 8, 2018
This announcement represents a policy shift, in the past, observers from the European Union and the Organization of American States (OAS) were barred from observing the country's election due to their one-sided commentary on its affairs.
The president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, echoed Maduro's commitment saying: “We guarantee effective conditions, so the democratic differences are resolved through voting in a transparent and balanced way."
Yesterday Maduro made a similar remark after signing the Dominican Republic agreement, in which he committed himself to “comply with each part of the consensus document that the opposition did not want to sign.” He then declared he wanted to register the opposition candidates and give all guarantees for international observers.
“The dialog remains open,” he said.
In an effort to include different sections of society in the politics of Venezuela, Maduro has also announced a new socio-cultural movement, called the “We Are Venezuela Movement” (Movimiento Somos Venezuela). Its primary objective will be to strengthen and deepen social inclusion in the country's projects.
Maduro said the new organization would be composed of 24 sectors and 100,000 members that sustain the country's life, with the objective of calling all of the Venezuelan people to participate in the next presidential elections.
“Today we birth a new socio-cultural, socio-political movement that will write the new history of Venezuela. Today a movement for the social and political revolution is born,” the president said.
The organization will include youth, women, workers, farmers and fisher people, as well as intellectuals and technicians.
The president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) and the new secretary for the organization, Delcy Rodriguez, said the new movement would support Maduro for the next elections.
Venezuela elections are usually observed by the Electoral Experts Council of Latin America (CEELA), which cooperates with the OAS. During last year's local elections in Venezuela, CEELA's President Nicanor Moscoso declared the polls had been trustworthy.
“We testify Venezuela's elections this Sunday were transparent, we testify the electoral process is totally trustworthy,” said Moscoso at the time. He also affirmed the elections complied with both international standards and national laws, saying Venezuela had “evolved in electoral matters.”