Edmundo Gonzalez
Edmundo González linked his foreign policy for Venezuela with the Andean Community, CARICOM, and Mercosur. Edmundo Gonzalez

Venezuelan presidential candidate Edmundo González Urrutia, representing opposition coalition Plataforma Unitaria Democrática, said that relations with countries with which the current Nicolás Maduro administration is closely aligned with, namely China, Cuba and Iran, would be "subject to a rigorous review."

"It is not possible for us to maintain a presence with countries where human rights are not respected, where essential norms of conduct and international behavior are violated," he told Argentine outlet Infobae in an interview.

"We will maintain normal relations based on mutual respect and sovereignty, but some sensitive issues will be subject to review," he added.

Venezuela owes China about $10 billion, according to independent analysts. In addition to being the country's largest creditor, China is a key player in Venezuela's oil and gas sector.

For Maduro's government, the relationship with the Asian giant is "foolproof and weatherproof," according to the president's son, congressman Nicolás Maduro Guerra, who used the term in an interview with Reuters in early May.

Meanwhile, "Iran has entered the Venezuelan market very strongly" with the introduction of supermarkets, car imports and gasoline in the Latin American country, journalist Marcos Colombo recounted in the article.

Asked whether he would maintain close ties with China, Iran, Russia, Cuba, and Nicaragua, González Urrutia emphasized that diplomatic and commercial positions could be reevaluated, always with a focus on the promotion of human rights and the interests of Venezuela.

"The foreign policy of the new government will once again have as its central axis sovereignty, the protection of the country's interests, and the openness to have relations with all countries on the basis of respect," he replied.

"We were a country characterized by developing an independent foreign policy, open to all nations, where the defense of human rights, the promotion of democracy, and the defense of the country's interests were privileged. That will guide and orient Venezuela's foreign policy, of course, with emphasis on spaces that are Venezuela's natural arenas, such as the Andean Community, CARICOM, Mercosur, and, in general, with all countries of the Americas with whom we have had for many years relations based on respect and cordial understanding between our governments."

"The relationship with Russia has seen significant development in the past 25 years, where a relationship based on economic interests, primarily in the oil sector, has been deepened. We will respect any agreements that have been maintained as long as they are framed within the framework of the National Constitution," he added.

"With Cuba, there is a very particular issue because Venezuela has developed an automatic alignment with Cuba in the last 25 years. This is a relationship that goes far beyond diplomatic relations to encompass aspects related to state security, issues concerning ports and airports, citizenship, and so on—a series of sensitive matters for the country's security that need to be subject to review."

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