María Corina Machado and the Betrayal of Venezuela

Atilio Borón, Orinoco Tribune, February 13, 2024 —

Senility is not only a problem for President Joe Biden but for the empire as a whole. Days ago, the United States government announced new sanctions against Venezuela following the decision of Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice to ratify the disqualification of Mrs. María Corina Machado from running as a candidate in the next presidential elections.

It was enough for the news to be known for the media sewer—the one that completely silences the ongoing genocide in Gaza or the Dina Boluarte massacres in Peru—to immediately lose its temper and begin to launch all kinds of nefarious accusations against the Venezuelan government. “Proscription, exclusion, persecution!” they shout to the four winds, encouraged from Washington. What these neocolonial spokespersons do not say is that María Corina Machada is being tried under legislation that is practically a carbon copy of a US law. According to this, condensed in 18 US Code § 2381 states that “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

According to US jurisprudence, the crime is proven when someone committed an overt act against the United States government (a war, helping an enemy Government or organization, etc.) and participated in any form of rebellion or seditious conspiracy against it.

Having said the above, it is more than evident that if Ms. Machado had been a citizen of the United States and had acted as she has been doing in Venezuela for some 20 years, she would have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted by the authorities. Machado met publicly with at least one president of the United States, George W. Bush (Jr.), who received her in none other than the Oval Office on May 31, 2005, in a private meeting that was not simply protocol because it lasted just over 50 minutes. It is assumed that the topic of the conversation was to request help to overthrow the constitutional government of President Hugo Chávez on the eve of the crucial Summit of the Americas that was to meet in November of that year, where the White House was awaiting approval of the FTAA.

Ending the charismatic leadership of Chávez was decisive for the success of these evil designs. And Machado was there, in addition to countless meetings that she held with other officials from the front lines of successive US administrations, looking for a way to achieve that goal.

In March 2014, coinciding with the first of the bloody guarimbas organized by the Venezuelan right wing, Machado appeared on the international scene as an unusual “alternate ambassador” of Panama in the session of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, using that platform to attack the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Machado was, at that time, a deputy to the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and, in a gross act of treason, she openly requested, before the Permanent Council of the OAS, that said organization order a foreign military intervention to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro. All this while the thugs of the guarimbas indiscriminately murdered anyone who appeared to be a Chavista, in many cases, burning them alive. It is worth remembering that in 2017, the guarimbas re-emerged with the full support of the Venezuelan right and its US representatives without Machado condemning in the slightest their crimes against the population. On the contrary, throughout these years, she did not stop requesting the intervention of foreign forces to overthrow the legitimate government of her country.

It cannot be forgotten that over so many years this “patriotic” Venezuelan leader tirelessly advocated before the governments of the United States and the European Union to impose harsh economic and all kinds of sanctions on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Currently, Venezuela is the victim of 930 unilateral coercive measures (MCI) that have affected all areas of economic activity and caused serious hardship to the entire Venezuelan population. In short, we are facing a clear case of betrayal of the country that has been treated with surprising kindness by the Chavista government. In 2005, Machado was tried for her signature of the “Carmona decree” that validated the coup d’état in Venezuela on April 10, 2002. She was also tried for conspiracy because an NGO she created and directed received a subsidy of US $53,000 from the National Fund for Democracy, funded by the United States Congress. For both charges she was sentenced to 28 years in prison, but she was amnestied by then-president Hugo Chávez. In no other country could Machado have continued practicing politics as she has done in Venezuela to this day. In most European countries she would have been put in prison and served a long sentence; the same would have happened in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, or any other country in the region.

On the other hand, we must remember that they were not just words. Her attack against her own country had concrete effects that produced great damage. The fact that María Corina Machado and the “self-proclaimed president” Juan Guaidó handed over to foreign hands companies and assets of the Venezuelan people such as CITGO, in the United States, and Monómeros, the largest fertilizer manufacturer, in Colombia. Both figures were also complicit in the kidnapping of 31 tons of gold by the United Kingdom, valued at almost two billion dollars, and in the blockade of financial assets ordered by Washington and its European lackeys. Conservative estimates of the economic damages caused by Machado and Guaidó against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela amount to about $140 billion. Despite this, she demands impunity.

With this background in view, María Corina Machado had already been disqualified from holding public office for a period of 15 years, starting in 2015, as stated by the comptroller general of Venezuela. In other words, her disqualification from the 2024 elections is nothing new, since nine years of disqualification already weigh on her. It is not that she is being condemned now. She already had already been disqualified in 2015, and it is res judicata. The decision taken and announced by the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela is not her disqualification, but simply the ratification of a decision made nine years ago.

Despite this, the right wing and the spokesmen of the empire have portrayed her as a kind of patriotic Joan of Arc when, in reality, she is a scandalous agent of the empire, an accomplice of the criminal plunder perpetrated against her own country, and one of the key schemers in plans to overthrow the legitimate government of Nicolás Maduro and take Venezuela back to the disastrous times of the Fourth Republic. That is the true portrait of the “heroine” or the “freedom fighter” presented by the empire’s media and the United States government itself, which is now redoubling its sanctions against the people and the government of Venezuela.

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