EspañolVenezuelan opposition leader and former National Assembly Representative María Corina Machado learned yesterday that she was charged last month with incitement to violence. Although not made public until now, the charge stems from the protests that took place in February against President Nicolás Maduro.
Machado is adamant that she was unaware of the charges: “I was never informed of the existence of a criminal case against me, preventing me from defending myself,” she said through a press release.
According to Tomás Arias, Machado’s lawyer, the political leader learned of her case when she visited the court house to review her file. In June, the same court charged fellow opposition leader Leopoldo López with arson, incitement to violence, damage to public property, and conspiracy. López is being held in Ramo Verde military prison outside Caracas.
Previously, the regime’s judiciary called Machado as a witness in a pending case over an act “against the independence and security of the nation,” after a criminal complaint filed by Jorge Rodriguez, a leader of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela. According to Rodriguez, Machado was behind a destabilization plan, including an “assassination” and a “coup.”
Now, Machado is accused of promoting civil disobedience, hatred among Venezuelans, and actions that threaten public peace. She faces up to six years in prison.
This is not the first time Machado has felt the weight of Venezuela’s suspect judiciary. One month ago, for example, she was banned from leaving the country. National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello revealed that on his TV program, and he justified the measure given the investigation of a “plot to assassinate president Maduro.”
A deputy since 2011, Machado was removed from office in March by the Supreme Court, after her participation in the Organization of the American States as an “alternative representative” of Panama.
Source: El Universal.