A transgender former legislator and LGBTQ activist, Tamara Adrián, announced her candidacy Thursday in Venezuela's opposition primaries that will determine who challenges President Nicolás Maduro in next year's election.
In 2016, Adrián became the first transgender legislator in the conservative South American country.
The 69-year-old university professor has received backing from the United for Dignity association that last year began the long process of becoming a political party.
"It is a comprehensive plan so that no one is left behind," said Adrián, whose program is based on attracting foreign investment and improving public services.
Adrián, who identifies as a transgender woman, said she wants to "break down barriers that society has imposed on certain people to incorporate them in an effective way in economic development."
She has also accused the state of "homophobia through action" and "omission."
While a legislator from 2015 to 2021, Adrian unsuccessfully attempted to promote a law against discrimination and in favor of community rights.
Venezuela lags behind other Latin American countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Chile in these issues.
Both the ruling party and the opposition in Venezuela are socially conservative.
Opposition primaries are due to take place on October 22.
Adrian will be up against some opposition heavyweights.
Juan Guaidó, who came to prominence in 2019 when he declared himself acting president in a challenge to Maduro's authority, will be on the ballot.
So too will Henrique Capriles, who contested the 2013 election against Maduro and the 2012 vote against the late Hugo Chávez.