Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado speaks during a press conference at her party headquarters
Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado

"This goes beyond the elections. This is an existential, even spiritual fight." That is how Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado described the current electoral campaign ahead of the July presidential elections in an event organized by the Americas Council this week.

Machado, who won a broad primary last year but was banned from competing in the elections by the Maduro government, is actively campaigning on behalf of Edmundo González Urrutia, around whom the opposition coalesced last month.

González and Machado took part in the event, in which they reiterated their commitment to "go all the way." "It means bringing our children back home. That is the desire we all have each night," Machado said.

Urrutia, on his end, added that they count on the support of the international community "before and during the vote." "That can help us to deal with the government," he added. González has delegated the campaign on Machado, who has been hitting the trail in Venezuela, but has given several interviews and discussed his plans in events.

"I had never been involved in a political campaign but what I'm seeing at the moment from the people is enthusiasm. People want to take part in this," he said.

"We're organizing thousands across the country and it's a great honor for me to share this fight with a person like Edmundo González, who people can trust. We're aware the challenges we face but I'm confident that we'll win," concluded Machado.

The Venezuelan opposition has shown its determination to compete in the elections regardless of the obstacles the Maduro government might put in front of it, and the latest figures are an encouragement to continue down that path.

According to a new poll by Datincorp, González Urrutia holds a commanding 40-point lead over Nicolas Maduro less than two weeks after being announced as the coalition representative.

Concretely, González has 62% of the support compared to Maduro's 20%. Other candidates got a combined 12%. And the lead could continue growing, as only 55% of the 1,200 people surveyed knew who the opposition candidate was. The Miami Herald reported that another poll from last week already showed González already had a 20-point lead.

The poll's figures are consistent with another mid-April study showing that four in ten Venezuelans would consider leaving the country if Nicolás Maduro were to be reelected. Moreover, 45% of respondents claimed they did not know what they would decide while should Maduro win and only 16% expressed their desire to stay in the country if such an outcome were to take place.

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