Canadians call on visiting Venezuelan politician to support peace talks and stop inciting violence

TORONTO, May 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Maria Corina Machado, a controversial and polarizing figure involved in the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela, is scheduled to speak in Ottawa and Toronto this week. She is a former opposition member of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and has been at the forefront of the current crisis; inciting street riots and rejecting dialogue with the Government.

Concerned Canadian organizations are calling on members of parliament to pressure Machado to participate in dialogue with the democratically elected Government and stop ongoing violence.

"Maria Corina Machado has been travelling the world for several months advocating for intervention in Venezuelan politics but has disingenuously failed to mention her role in promoting the violence that has taken place since February 12," said journalist Pablo Vivanco.  "Given her questionable history and her active encouragement of violence, we caution decision-makers and others in Canada from associating with her and to contextualize her message."

Machado calls for a boycott of the government-sponsored "Dialogue Table," which looks to address grievances and political differences openly in a televised space. Those coming to the table include government politicians, the Catholic Church, business leaders and opposition politicians including Henrique Capriles Radonski (the runner-up in the 2012 and 2013 Presidential elections).  Machado's call for a boycott stands in the way of peace.

"Machado portrays herself as a persecuted pro-democracy leader but her track record is one of anti-democratic efforts seeking to oust an elected government" said Raul Burbano from Latin American and Caribbean Solidarity Network. "Canadians support the right of Venezuelans to live in peace and stability. Encouraging Machado to cease her disruptive measures and advance genuine peace is key to advancing a reconciliation agenda."

The violence and rioting in Venezuela has claimed the lives of over 40 people, including six police officers and several public servants.

SOURCE BASICS News

For further information:


Raul Burbano
Latin American and Caribbean
Solidarity Network
416 522 8615

Pablo Vivanco
BASICS News
416 890 3986