The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica appears to be locked in a struggle with one of its high-profile members, Maria Corina Machado, over who will replace her in Miranda’s Circuit 2 in December’s parliamentary elections.
Machado was set to run as the MUD representative in the circuit until July 14, when the Comptroller General of the Republic disqualified her from holding office over alleged spending violations. The disqualification is set for a period of one year, making it impossible for Machado to attend to her post should she win in the December 6 elections.
Two days ago, Machado named Isabel Pereira as her replacement, meaning that Pereira would run for Machado in Miranda’s Circuit 2. This, despite the fact that Voluntad Popular‘s Freddy Guevara had already been selected as Machado’s replacement should she find herself unable to run.
Today, the head of the MUD, Jesus Torrealba, reacted Machado’s announcement, assuring that it’s up to the bloc – not individual candidates – to decide who runs and where. In a press conference earlier today, Torrealba said;
We think it’s a great idea for Mrs. Pereira to be the substitute for our sister Maria Corina, but the Unidad decides who runs.
Torrealba reminded listeners that, at the time of announcing Machado’s replacement, it was her own party (Vente Venezuela) who decided on Freddy Guevara:
The people who decided that Isabel Pereira should not be in the National Assembly are Vente Venezuela, Maria Corina’s party. We regret their decision, because it deprives the National Assembly’s ranks of someone like Pereira.
The MUD held its primaries in May 17 of this year. Electors voted on which opposition politician they wanted to represent them in their district, along with their substitute.
Torrealba also clarified that as far as the bloc is concerned, Freddy Guevara is running in Miranda’s Circuit 2, not Isabel Pereira.
Vente Venezuela Fires Back at MUD
The Vente Venezuela party dug in on its naming of Isabel Pereira as Maria Corina Machado’s substitute in a press release issued shortly after the MUD statement. In the release signed by Maria Corina Machado, Vente Venezuela argues that the MUD has let other parties choose substitutes for their own disqualified candidates, and that it is merely asking to be extended the same courtesy.
The Mesa de la Unidad Democratica has decided that in the case of candidates who are disqualified by the government, they and their designated organizations are the ones who decide who can substitute them. This is what happened with the case of Manuel Rosales, where Un Nuevo Tiempo assigned his substitute; with Daniel Ceballos, where Voluntad Popular assigned his substitute; with Enzo Scarano, where Cuentas Claras assigned his substitute; and with Raul Emilio Baduel and Alexander Tirado, where Voluntad Popular assigned their substitutes. Therefore, the principles of justice and respect for all of the members of the Unidad and all citizens, and following with past policy, [I ask that] my substitute be assigned by the party to which I belong, Venete Venezuela.
Cancer Patients Hit by Scarcity
Patients at the Luis Razetti Oncological Hospital in Caracas are feeling the effects of the the scarcity crisis hitting the country particularly hard, as many of the chemotherapy drugs used to treat their conditions are in extremely short supply in the hospital.
El Nacional reports that stocks oft carboplatin (used in the treatment of ovarian, lung, throat and brain cancer), topotecan (used to treat ovarian and lung cancer), liposomal doxorubicin (used to treat leukemia, ovarian cancer and some melanomas), and etoposide (used to treat lung cancer) have not been replaced in several months.
Aside fromt the chemotherapy drugs, the hospital is also suffering from shortages of more general hospital supplies, including needles and gauze.
The medical supply scarcity has given rise bleak trend: patients and their relatives taking to Twitter and other social media platforms in the hopes of finding medicine.
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