Sacked Venezuelan politician promises to continue battle

A leading opposition politician in Venezuela, Maria Corina Machado, said she will continue to support the anti-government demonstrations in that country after being impeached by the Venezuelan National Assembly.

Venezuela has faced months of street protests with the opposition blaming the government’s socialist policies for high inflation, crime and the shortage of many staples.  The protests have at times turned violent, with deaths reported.

Ms. Machado was recently stripped of her title in the National Assembly that is controlled by President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist party.  She was cited for speaking about Venezuela’s political crisis at the Organization of American States in Washington as an invited guest of the government of Panamá.

Ms. Machado is being investigated for possible treason by violating the constitution, which prohibits parliamentarians from accepting public posts from other countries without the approval of Venezuela’s Congress.

Ms. Machado rejects these charges as a political tactic and says she will continue to speak out against the government’s attempts to repress opposition voices.

“In my case I have been accused of treason because I went to the OAS and I had the chance to speak in the seat of Panamá using a procedure that has been used in the past several times, even by the Venezuelan regime in the case of Honduras four years ago.  So it is my duty to speak out as the representative, as a member of the parliament both inside the National Assembly as in the streets of Venezuela as well as around the world, that is exactly what I have done.  That is precisely what I’ll keep on doing in the future,” said Ms. Machado.

By stripping Ms. Machado of parliamentary immunity she could be arrested at any time.

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