Venezuela to allow Machado aides safe passage to Argentina, government sources say

President Javier Milei's office said in late March it was concerned about persecution of Venezuela's opposition, shortly after it was confirmed six Machado aides were at Argentina's embassy in Caracas

Venezuela’s government will allow six aides of opposition leader Maria Corina Machado who are currently at the Argentine embassy in Caracas to travel safely to Argentina, a government source said on Friday.

The aides, including campaign manager Magalli Meda, previously tipped as a potential replacement for Machado in this year’s presidential election, sought protection at the embassy in March after the attorney general’s office announced warrants for their arrest.

“We have granted safe passage to those six people. We are waiting for Argentina to take them to Buenos Aires,” the government source said. “The Venezuelan government has exceptionally allowed them to leave the country for humanitarian reasons.”

While the aides will be allowed to leave, the criminal case against them will continue, the source added.

Venezuela’s attorney general Tarek Saab said in March that two people close to Machado had been arrested, while seven other members of her team had warrants out for their detention. The arrests and warrants were for alleged involvement in planned conspiracies, Saab said.

Machado has denied any allegations of misconduct by her team.

She told journalists that safe passage for the aides was “being managed between the foreign ministries of Argentina and Venezuela,” offering no further details.

Last week, the office of Argentine President Javier Milei said it was concerned about the persecution of political opposition leaders in Venezuela, shortly after Argentina confirmed the six people were at the embassy.

Argentine Foreign Minister Diana Mondino told an event on Friday that Milei’s government was working to bring the six aides to Argentina.

“We’re working on it, it’s not so easy,” Mondino said.

Venezuela’s opposition is subsumed in internal negotiations about how to run a candidate in the July 28 election and who that candidate could be.

Machado, who resoundingly won the opposition primaries last October, cannot run because she is barred from holding public office, a decision she says is unfair. Machado named Corina Yoris as her successor, but the 80-year-old academic was also unable to register her candidacy.

Two opposition candidates were able to register and possible substitutes can be named until April 20.

At least six other people from Machado’s team have been arrested since January.



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