Opposition legislator Maria Corina Machado will go to the Prosecutor’s Office today to be charged with attempting to kill Nicolás Maduro. She may be imprisoned today. We’ll be live blogging the events as they unfold.
Three quick things to start:
- Her team has put together a list of all the attacks on Maria Corina through the years. It’s a daunting read. Most of the stuff is outrageous, but this one takes the cake.
- El Universal does not mention Maria Corina at all in today’s online edition.
I dare someone to find anything Henrique Capriles has said about the charges placed on Maria Corina. He’s kept mum – as if he doesn’t give a crap.
Check back for updates as they come in.
9:28 AM – Just thought I’d let you know Caracas Chronicles is on the scene. Here is a poster of support for Machado.
9:51 AM: El Universal is now covering the story. Readers have complained about me being too harsh on Henrique Capriles – perhaps, but he still hasn’t said anything, and it’s strange. Oh, and Maria Corina has arrived at the Prosecutor’s office.
9:54 AM: Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma weighs in.
10:20 AM: El Hatillo mayor (and my new friend, but more on that in a later post) David Smolansky is accompanying Maria Corina as well. Apparently, so are some of the MUD’s bigwigs, including Chúo Torrealba and Freddy Guevara – apologies to those I fail to mention.
10:36 AM: Henrique Capriles has tweeted his support. I take back my criticism of him.
10:39 AM: Other people present at the Prosecutor’s Office: Ismael García, Laureano Márquez, Soledad Bravo, Gaby Arellano, Carlos Berrizbeitia, Luis Barragán, Freddy Marcano, Eduardo Gómez Sigala, Juan Carlos Caldera, Ángel Medina, Antonio Ecarri, Roberto Enríquez … and lots of men with guns – the National Guard.
10:41 AM: Fair to say the opposition is united in condemning this outrage. First show of unity in months. Silver lining?
12:04 PM: Chavista paramilitary-gang-slash-TV-show Zurda Konducta is in the house! Tension outside the Prosecutor’s Office. Maria Corina has been inside with her attorneys only for two hours.
12:05 PM: Foreigners are starting to weigh in. The International Foundation for Electoral Systems, who gave Machado an award this year, says they are “deeply concerned with Machado’s safety as she faces unfounded charges of conspiracy to murder President Maduro.” They add, “[n]o evidence has been disclosed against Machado and she is an important voice for freedom and democracy in her native Venezuela.”
12:27 PM: Supporters outside the Prosecutor’s Office are surrounded by the National Guard … for protection? #ExcesivamenteNormal
12:57 PM: She’s out. Not sure what it means yet.
1:24 PM: She is being charged for “conspiracy,” but will apparently remain free for now. She thanks her supporters, the Catholic Church (special mention to Cardinal Urosa), as well as the political leaders that accompanied her.
1:28 PM: In a pretty one-sided note, El Universal doesn’t quote Machado, but instead goes into extensive detail as to what the law says about the crime of conspiracy. Apparently, you can be charged with conspiring for “defaming” the President, or “threatened the peace.”
1:30 PM: Wait, the prosecutor charging Maria Corina is named … Katherine Harrington?! Wasn’t she a character on Dynasty back in the ’80s? #SeMeCayóLaCedula
1:31 PM: I guess the government saw that “threatening to kill the President” was a laughable charge. Instead, they aer undusting the old “conspiracy” charge, which basically says that you go to jail if you speak ill of the President or the country’s diplomats. Whatever, chavistas…
1:34 PM: Here is Venezuela’s Penal Code. Article 132 is what the prosecution is clinging to.
1:35 PM: Thanks to El Universal, a.k.a. Luisa Ortega’s Press Office, for breaking this down for us!
2:36 PM: That’s all for now. Maria Corina remains a relatively free woman, subjected to the whims of a selectively repressive regime. Nice show of unity from the opposition today, by the way.