Maria Corina Machado free

CARACAS — The government of Venezuela recently released a tape of a renowned legislator from the opposition criticising the opposition coalition’s head and accusing him of joining hands with U.S. official to brew trouble for the country. This tape is the latest in the series of recordings that have rocked the Venezuelan political scenario. All of these recordings were made in secret and the newest one features well-known lawmaker Maria Corina Machado in conversation with a local academic.

The tape was presented to the media by Jorge Rodriguez, the ruling Socialist Party’s senior official. In a news conference held by Information Minister Ernesto Villegas, Rodriguez addressed reporters by saying. “We are obliged to show evidence today that violates the constitution in a terrifying way.” He said that an opposition activist had provided the government with the recordings but failed to say when these recording were made.

In a separate news conference, Machado admitted that the voice on the recording was hers but it was obtained illegally since the conversation was a private one.  “They are taking a conversation of more than two hours and taking it out of context, editing different phrases to change the context. They are wrong, if they think they are going to blackmail us with illegal acts like these,” she said.

In the recording, Machado is heard saying “Aveledo has said to the (U.S.) State Department that the only way out of this is to provoke or to accentuate a crisis, a coup d’etat or a process of tightening,” speaking of Ramon Guillermo Aveledo (pictured), head 341of the opposition coalition, while speaking of April’s presidential election and the narrow loss that opposition faced at the hands of Nicolas Maduro, the country’s reigning president. Machado also seemed critical of the opposition’s strategy post the April polls, saying that the decision  to call off street protests over the results had sent a “terrible signal” to the masses.

Venezuela’s political scenario has been unstable ever since Hugo Chavez, the nation’s charismatic leader passed away earlier this year. Many of the leaders of the opposition refuse to recognize Maduro, who took over from Chavez as president.  The reason for this maybe the fact that “Maduro constantly accuses the opposition of having a hidden, violent and pro-U.S. agenda including assassination and coup plots against him” according to Reuters. On the other hand, the opposition says that Maduro tries to hide Venezuela’s  economic and social problems and his incompetence to deal with them through such baseless allegations.

Image Courtesy: World Economic Forum (http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldeconomicforum/6948784736/)

Image Courtesy: Marco Urban (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kasonline/7455638048/)

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