Venezuela’s Opposition Primary Winner Maria Corina Machado: ‘I Am Not A Brute’.

Photo: MercoPress. Primary winner Maria Machado could be the next leader of Venezuela and bring radical changes to the South American nation.
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In an interview with El Pitazo, Maria Corina Machado, the presidential candidate chosen through Venezuela’s historic primary elections on October 22nd, asserts her commitment to democratic principles and inclusive governance.

Machado, daughter of a wealthy steel magnate is known in Venezuela as the Woman of Steel or Iron Lady, and is a lifelong opponent of Chavism and the current President Nicolas Maduro. She favors privatizing government-held corporations. including the national oil producer.

Machado, who won over 90% of the votes in the opposition’s primary election remains barred by the Maduro regime from participating in the presidential election for 15 years, amidst accusations that she has worked on behalf of foreign powers and against the government of Venezuela, however she does not accept the validity of the ban.

Reflecting on the significance of the primary elections, Machado emphasizes its transformative impact on Venezuelan politics. She notes, “It is the most powerful event that has occurred in a long time in Venezuela.” She highlights the resonance of citizen participation and the international community’s recognition of the regime’s loss of social support.

Addressing concerns about her leadership style, Machado affirms her dedication to inclusive governance, stating,

“I am not a brute. That would be brutal.” She emphasizes the importance of collaboration across party lines and the need for clear and democratic rules of the game for all Venezuelans.

In response to skepticism from some Chavistas, who wonder if there is life for them after an eventual political transition, Machado reassures them, stating, “Of course there is life for you after the transition, but in a country with clear and democratic rules of the game.”

She underscores the inevitability of political and spiritual defeat for the regime and advocates for a negotiated transition that represents the interests of all Venezuelans.

Regarding the disqualification threats, Machado remains firm in her commitment to democratic principles, dismissing calls for consensus as misguided attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the primary elections, that she won with over 92.5%, in a vote that was held simultaneously in Venezuela and 28 other countries and in which it is estimated that more than two million people took part.

Sources: MercoPress, El Pitazo, CSIS.
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