María Corina Machado
Venezuelan politician
María Corina Machado
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Jenise Aminoff on Kickstarter, Writing, and Getting Her Novel Published
Huffington Post - 5 months
We first met Jenise Aminoff at the New England SCBWI Conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. She wowed us with her awesome pitch at our Pitchapalooza (think American Idol for books), and we were absolutely sure that she was going to be a published author sooner rather than later. Sure enough, her new book, A Witch's Kitchen, is coming out, and we thought we would pick her brain about her road to publication. Photo: Felix Rust The Book Doctors: How did you learn to be a writer? Jenise Aminoff: Yikes. There are so many ways I could answer that question. The simple answer is that I took a lot of classes. When I got to MIT, thinking I'd be a physicist or aero/astro engineer, I started taking writing classes as stress relief. Contrary to popular belief, MIT actually has a robust humanities department and an excellent writing program. At some point, I realized that I was enjoying writing much more than solving equations, so I changed majors. I have a bachelor's of science in writi ...
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Huffington Post article
In Venezuela, the Opposition is on the Right Side of History
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A man waves the Venezuelan national flag after hearing the results of the national congressional elections in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg via Getty Images CARACAS -- It's October 2014 in Venezuela: sweltering heat, the sound of sirens, a noisy crowd can be heard afar. Sun rays pierce an opening crisscrossed by metal bars. A bearded man wearing shorts and a basketball jersey, with his back towards a camera, stares at the opening above his head, gets edgy and starts reaching for the bars. In the narrow space he uses his hands and feet, pressing them against the side walls like Spiderman, and climbs towards the light. He finally gets a grip on the bars, his feet on a small ledge and his face toward the sun. A distant rebel yell can be heard through the noise. The bearded man shouts back. He hangs onto the bars with his left hand and clanks them with a stick held in his right. He keeps shouting. The friendly voice in the distance yells ...
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Huffington Post article
In Venezuela, the Opposition is on the Right Side of History
Huffington Post - about 1 year
A man waves the Venezuelan national flag after hearing the results of the national congressional elections in Caracas, Venezuela, on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. (Carlos Becerra/Bloomberg via Getty Images CARACAS -- It's October 2014 in Venezuela: sweltering heat, the sound of sirens, a noisy crowd can be heard afar. Sun rays pierce an opening crisscrossed by metal bars. A bearded man wearing shorts and a basketball jersey, with his back towards a camera, stares at the opening above his head, gets edgy and starts reaching for the bars. In the narrow space he uses his hands and feet, pressing them against the side walls like Spiderman, and climbs towards the light. He finally gets a grip on the bars, his feet on a small ledge and his face toward the sun. A distant rebel yell can be heard through the noise. The bearded man shouts back. He hangs onto the bars with his left hand and clanks them with a stick held in his right. He keeps shouting. The friendly voice in the distance yells ...
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Huffington Post article
What Next For Venezuela?
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Venezuela's opposition has won a large majority of the country's congress, or National Assembly for the first time in 16 years. Many observers in Washington see this as a tipping point not only for Venezuela, but for the region, where about half of the people are currently living under left governments. What are we to make of this development? This first thing that should be recognized is that the endless stream of news articles, newspaper editorials, proclamations, e.g., from the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), denouncing the Venezuelan electoral process and insisting on "credible" election monitors -- by which they meant OAS monitors beholden to Washington -- were wrong. Quoting out-of-context remarks from Venezuelan President Maduro and adding other misleading statements, inaccuracies about "gerrymandering," and more, they created a fear that the government would not accept the results if they lost. But less than seven hours after the polls close ...
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Huffington Post article
In Venezuela election, Maria Corina Machado is an opposition force, though not on ballot
LATimes - about 1 year
She's been stripped of her Assembly seat, physically attacked on the floor of Congress by loyalists of late President Hugo Chavez and criticized by some of her allies in the opposition movement for being too confrontational. But as Venezuelans prepare to vote in Sunday's pivotal National Assembly...
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LATimes article
Venezuela's harried opposition eyes landmark win
Yahoo News - about 1 year
Its leaders have been thrown in jail, banned from politics and remain deeply divided, but Venezuela's opposition nonetheless looks set to bruise President Nicolas Maduro by winning control of the National Assembly. Sixteen years into late president Hugo Chavez's leftist "revolution," opinion polls indicate the opposition is poised to win legislative elections Sunday for the first time since the firebrand leader came to power. Seven opposition politicians have been banned from politics over allegations of corruption or conspiring to overthrow the government, including popular former lawmaker and presidential candidate Maria Corina Machado.
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Yahoo News article
US, Latin America worry over Venezuela tensions
Yahoo News - about 2 years
The United States and Latin American nations voiced concerns over political tensions in Venezuela after the socialist government arrested the opposition mayor of Caracas in an alleged coup plot. Almost exactly one year after opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez was arrested as he led a wave of protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro, intelligence agents burst into Mayor Antonio Ledezma's office late Thursday and hauled him to jail. A third radical critic of the government, ousted lawmaker Maria Machado, is under investigation over an alleged plan to assassinate Maduro, though she remains free. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles called on the government to produce evidence of the supposed conspiracy.
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Yahoo News article
Venezuelan leader steps up offensive against opposition
Yahoo News - about 2 years
Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro intensified his offensive against his most fervent opponents, sending the capital's mayor to jail as prosecutors planned Friday to charge him with a "violent" anti-government conspiracy. Almost exactly one year after opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez was arrested as he led a wave of protests against Maduro, intelligence agents burst into Mayor Antonio Ledezma's office late Thursday and hauled him to jail. A third radical critic of the government, ousted lawmaker Maria Machado, is under investigation over an alleged plan to assassinate Maduro, though she remains free.
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Yahoo News article
Venezuelan Opposition Turns To Social Media During Protest
Huffington Post - about 3 years
Venezuela's opposition took to the streets on Wednesday to protest corruption and crime, according to Reuters. The protests, pushed by a campaign from opposition leader Leopoldo López, fielded thousands of participants across several cities, who chanted "We don't want a Cuban dictatorship" and "You need therapy to live in Venezuela!" The political tension in Venezuela has increased in the past two weeks as students organized protests against the leftwing government, according to Venezuelan daily El Universal. "We ask for reinforced security in universities and the country," said student leader Juan Requesens, according to the newspaper. "Rather than chasing scoundrels, they go after students." The protests started peacefully, but by the end of the afternoon both the opposition and the government reported deaths. Diosdado Cabello, President of the National Assembly, said one victim was the leader of a pro-government group, according to Fox News Latino. Venezuelan opposition l ...
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Huffington Post article
Snowden Revelations: Shining a Spotlight on Canada, Washington's Junior Partner in the Americas
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Edward Snowden, who divulged secret activities of the National Security Agency or N.S.A., is now safely ensconced in Moscow. However, the notorious whistle-blower's disclosures continue to illuminate Washington's underhanded and unsavory agenda in the hemisphere, as well as U.S. links to junior partners such as Canada. According to Brazil's flagship news program Fantastico, which got access to Snowden's intelligence, Canada's electronic eavesdropping agency hacked into Brazil's Ministry of Energy Mines in a likely attempt to garner valuable industrial intelligence. The recent reporting does not indicate what the super secret Communications Security Establishment Canada or CSEC was after precisely, though it is possible that Ottawa has actually been spying on Brazil for years. There is some suggestion, moreover, that the Canadians carried out their intelligence with the active collaboration of the United States. Indeed, the Fantastico report was based on CSEC documents which had been ...
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Huffington Post article
Venezuelan government says recording proves opposition plots
Yahoo News - over 3 years
By Enrique Andres Pretel and Daniel Wallis CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's government released a recording on Wednesday of a well-known opposition lawmaker apparently criticizing the head of the opposition coalition and accusing him of meeting U.S. officials to provoke a crisis in the OPEC nation. In the latest of a string of secretly-made recordings that have roiled politics in the South American country in recent months, the new tape was of female legislator Maria Corina Machado talking to a local academic. ...
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Yahoo News article
Venezuela’s election aftermath: Cry havoc
The Economist - almost 4 years
WITH a narrow and disputed election victory last month and an accelerating economic crisis, the man who succeeded Hugo Chávez as Venezuela’s president got off to an inauspicious start. Now Nicolás Maduro’s efforts to establish authority are making matters worse at home, and setting alarm bells ringing abroad.After appearing to promise a full audit of the election results, as demanded by Henrique Capriles, the candidate of the Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition, the government backtracked. Human-rights groups say that more than 200 protesters, including teenagers, were detained by the military and many beaten up. Antonio Rivero, a retired general and leading opposition member, was arrested. He is on hunger strike, charged with “inciting hatred” and “criminal association”. Mr Capriles, who has asked the supreme court to annul the election, is threatened with jail.There was violence even in the National Assembly. The MUD’s 67 legislators were barred from speaking and had their salaries bloc ...
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The Economist article
Venezuela opposition wants probe of violence
Fox News - almost 4 years
Venezuela's opposition on Thursday asked prosecutors to investigate a fight on the floor of congress that injured several opposition lawmakers and forced at least one of them to undergo surgery. Congressman Julio Borges, who suffered head injuries when ruling party member Michelle Reyes repeatedly struck him in the face, met with federal prosecutors to demand the probe into who was responsible for Tuesday's clash in the National Assembly. "We were brutally attacked," Borges said, even as government officials argue that opposition lawmakers at least provoked the violence. The Prosecutor's Office did not comment on Borges' demands and Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega is widely considered to be a close ally of prominent ruling party members and prosecution of lawmakers would be nearly impossible because the legislators enjoy immunity from most criminal charges. One of the injured lawmakers, Maria Corina Machado underwent surgery T ...
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Fox News article
Asa Cusack: Venezuelan Presidential Elections 2013: All Over Bar the Shouting
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
With just a few days to go before Sunday's elections (14 April), there's only one winner: Chávez's former vice-president Nicolás Maduro. Here we look at the last-minute grenades coming his way and how he's batting them back with a little help from friends (and enemies) abroad. The Shouting: Yet To Be Barred. With all the restraint of his predecessor, Maduro got the ball rolling by saying that opposition aggression towards Cubans in Venezuela made them "the heirs of Hitler". Unfortunately - for this is more accident than design - his opponent Henrique Capriles Radonski happens to be of Jewish descent, unleashing one of those "Jews and Nazism in same paragraph!" furores so beloved of the media (see Bradford MP David Ward 's "language classes" for details). Dr Álvaro Strangelove to the Rescue! Rushing to Capriles' defence was the region's new-left nemesis for hire, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe, who used his Twitter Account of Vengeance to harangue Maduro wi ...
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Huffington Post article
Daniel L. Rodriguez: Venezuelans Across Canada Gather In Citizens' Assemblies, Issue Public Statement Regarding Crisis
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Dozens of Venezuelans gathered last Saturday in a citizens' assembly across many of Canada's largest cities and demanded, in a public declaration, the restitution of constitutional order in Venezuela and that the sovereignty of their country be respected. More than 35 Venezuelans gathered at a meeting room in Calgary's downtown public library and discussed the situation in their country via Skype with Venezuelans in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, London, Montreal and Quebec City, as well as the Venezuelan national deputy, Maria Corina Machado. "Since the 10th of January of 2013, Venezuela has been living under a de facto government that violates the ... national constitution ... and it's a usurpation of the popular vote," said the public statement. During the assembly in Calgary, it was decided to support the proposal by MP Jim Karyaginnis to discuss the Venezuelan crisis in the Canadian parliament, as well as the diplomatic mission proposal from the Canad ...
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Huffington Post article
Venezuela VP: Chavez can be sworn in by Court
Fox News - about 4 years
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez can take the oath of office for his next term before the Supreme Court at a later date if the ailing leader isn't fit to be sworn in next week, his vice president said. Vice President Nicolas Maduro sent the strongest signal yet that the government may seek to postpone Chavez's inauguration as the 58-year-old president fights a severe respiratory infection more than three weeks after undergoing cancer surgery in Cuba. Maduro's position in a televised interview on Friday night generated new friction between the government and opposition over the swearing-in, which the constitution says should occur next Thursday before the National Assembly. Some opposition leaders have argued that if Chavez doesn't make it back to Caracas by that date, the president of the National Assembly should take over as interim president. Such brewing disagreements are likely to be aired on Saturday when the congress, which is controll ...
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Fox News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of María Corina Machado
  • 2014
    Age 46
    While heading a meeting in Caricuao on 30 July 2014, members of colectivos attacked Machado.
    More Details Hide Details The vehicle Machado was traveling in was heavily damaged, with the body and windows of the vehicle being struck with gun handles, sticks and stones. Machado escaped and was then moved to the assembly place while colectivos followed breaking down the door where they then left the scene after confrontations with residents protecting Machado.
    In November 2014, government officials announced that Machado was to be formally charged on 3 December. Machado and others stated that the accusations were false and were created by the Venezuelan government to deflect attention from Venezuela's economic problems and polls showing Maduro's approval rating at a record low of 30%. While attending the bicentennial celebration of Venezuela's Declaration of Independence on 5 July 2011, following controversial comments made earlier by Machado about Venezuela's dependency on Cuba and not being independent, Machado was attacked by an angry group of Venezuelan government supporters.
    More Details Hide Details The group of about 50 threw stones and bottles at her; authorities defended her, and one officer was injured, as Machado was evacuated from the area by a police motorbike. Machado later thanked the authorities for defending her and apologized for any of their injuries.
    In May 2014, a top Venezuelan government official, Jorge Rodríguez, presented allegations of a plot by opposition politicians and officials, including Machado, to overthrow the government of the Venezuelan President Maduro.
    More Details Hide Details The evidence provided by the Venezuelan government were alleged emails through Google that were addressed to others from both Machado and Pedro Burelli. Burelli responded that the emails were falsified by the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), showing what he said were the original emails. In June, Venezuela's attorney general Luisa Ortega Díaz subpoenaed Machado along with Burelli, Diego Arria, and Ricardo Koesling; one week later, on 11 June, arrest warrants were issued. Burelli hired Kivu, a U.S.-based cybersecurity company, to analyze the alleged emails saying there was "no evidence of the existence of any emails between Pedro Burelli's Google email accounts and the alleged recipients", that the alleged emails presented by the Venezuelan government had "many indications of user manipulation" and that "Venezuelan officials used forged emails to accuse government adversaries of plotting to kill President Nicolas Maduro".
    Machado was among the leaders of the opposition demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro in the 2014 Venezuelan protests.
    More Details Hide Details Venezuela's Congress on 18 March requested a criminal investigation of Machado for crimes including treason for her involvement in the anti-government protests. Machado responded to legal accusations made against her saying, "In a dictatorship, the weaker the regime is, the greater the repression." After her removal on 21 March, Machado, along with supporters, began a march on 1 April toward downtown Caracas protesting against Machado's expulsion, where Machado attempted to return to her seat in the National Assembly. The demonstrators were prevented from leaving by the National Guard, which dispersed them with tear gas.
    After leading protests in Bolivar state on 14 March 2014, Machado and others were attacked at the Puerto Ordaz airport.
    More Details Hide Details The attack affected Machado, the Bishop of Ciudad Guayana, Mariano Parra, and other citizens in the area. Soon after, the National Guard intervened to disperse the attack.
    On 21 March 2014, Machado appeared as an alternate envoy at the request of Panama at the Organization of American States (OAS), amid protests in Venezuela, to speak about the situation in Venezuela.
    More Details Hide Details Following her appearance at the OAS, according to The Wall Street Journal, "pro-Maduro parliamentarians, who dominate the National Assembly" said her appearance at the OAS was prohibited by Venezuela's constitution, and removed her from the NA. Machado responded by accusing Diosdado Cabello (President of the National Assembly) of having a "dictatorship in the National Assembly" and said that her removal from the National Assembly was illegal.
    During the 2014 Venezuelan protests, Machado was one of the lead figures in organizing protests against the government of Nicolás Maduro.
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  • 2013
    Age 45
    At a rally on 16 November 2013 showing support for the opposition party during municipal elections, Machado and other politicians were attacked, allegedly by government supporters, with stones and fireworks.
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  • 2012
    Age 44
    The winner of the 12 February 2012 primaries to be the opposition candidate against Chávez in the October presidential election was Henrique Capriles Radonski; according to the Associated Press, Machado "conceded defeat before the results were announced, saying she also will actively back Capriles".
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    Even President Hugo Chávez has spoken of confronting her in the 2012 presidential elections."
    More Details Hide Details On 13 January 2012, during the annual State of the Nation Speech delivered by Chávez to the Venezuelan National Assembly, Machado confronted him about shortages of basic goods, crime, and nationalizations of basic industries. "How can you say that you protect private property when you have been expropriating small businesses; expropriating and not paying is stealing."
    She was the founder, former vice president, and former president of the Venezuelan volunteer civil organization Súmate, along with Alejandro Plaz, and a pre-candidate for the 2012 Venezuelan presidential elections.
    More Details Hide Details Machado was charged (together with other Súmate representatives) with conspiracy for funds Súmate received from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), triggering condemnation of the administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez from human rights groups supported by NED.
  • 2011
    Age 43
    During Machado's presidential race in 2011, she and her companions were attacked on 16 October by a small group of the Motorized Front of the PSUV while in Turmero.
    More Details Hide Details The group allegedly attacked Machado and her companions with kicks, punches and objects while saying "this is chavista territory and this does not fit any political opposition". Machado and two of her companions were injured. On 30 April 2013, cameras covering the National Assembly were turned to the ceiling and the opposition claimed they were "physically assaulted in a planned ambush by supporters of President Nicolas Maduro's government". Machado was injured, along with other legislators in the National Assembly, saying she was attacked from behind, hit in the face and kicked while on the floor which left her with a broken nose. Machado said the brawl "was a premeditated, cowardly, vile, aggression". President Maduro responded to the situation saying, "What happened today in the National Assembly, we do not agree with violence. They tell us and we knew that the opposition was coming to provoke violence". No disciplinary actions was taken against any of the attackers after the incident.
    In 2011, Machado announced the launch of her pre-candidacy for the 2012 presidential primary elections.
    More Details Hide Details According to the Los Angeles Times, "both Machado and Mendoza are already being talked about as potential presidential candidates in two years." Michael Shifter said that Machado was a future presidential contender "who can effectively communicate a vision for a post-Chávez Venezuela that can appeal to enough Chávez supporters." According to the Financial Times, "Machado is being dubbed the new face of the opposition...
  • 2010
    Age 42
    Machado won election to the National Assembly in the 26 September 2010 polls, as the highest vote-getter in the nation; she and fellow Primero Justicia Miranda candidate Enrique Mendoza were the "two highest vote-getters nationwide".
    More Details Hide Details Machado said the president "made a big mistake by turning the election into a plebiscite on himself... This is a clear signal that Venezuelans do not want an authoritarian government, a militarized government, a centralized government and a government that wants to turn Venezuela into Cuba... A new phase begins today, and we've taken a big step toward the day when democratic values, freedom, justice and good governance prevail." "We now have the legitimacy of the citizen vote. We are the representatives of the people." "It is very clear. Venezuela said no to Cuban-like communism."
    In April 2010, Machado won the primary election to advance her candidacy.
    More Details Hide Details Machado campaigned actively in "slums once viewed as solid pro-Chávez territory", attempting to "capitalize on domestic problems, including widespread violent crime, power outages in some regions, a severe housing shortage and 30-percent inflation". A representative of the Bolivarian Circles, supportive of the Chávez' regime, described Machado as la candidata contrarrevolucionaria (the counterrevolutionary candidate).
    In February 2010, Machado resigned from Súmate and announced her candidacy for the National Assembly of Venezuela, representing Miranda (Chacao, Baruta, El Hatillo and the Parroquia Leoncio Martínez de Sucre) as a Justice First (Primero Justicia) party member of the Coalition for Democratic Unity (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática – MUD) in opposition to Chávez's party, United Socialist Party of Venezuela (Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela – PSUV).
    More Details Hide Details In announcing her candidacy, she said Venezuelans were good, decent and free people who don't want to live with violence or hate; she promised to defend the right for Venezuelans to think freely and live without fear. She said she hopes to build a "responsible government", transforming public institutions, especially the National Electoral Council (CNE).
  • 2006
    Age 38
    Machado and Plaz were invited to meet with National Assembly legislators in August 2006 for an investigation about Súmate's funding, but were denied access to the hearing, although they say they received two letters requesting their presence.
    More Details Hide Details According to The Christian Science Monitor, she also faces treason charges for signing the Carmona Decree during the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela. Machado says she wrote her name on what she believed to be a sign-in sheet while visiting the presidential palace. The charges carry a penalty of more than a decade in prison; the trial was suspended in February 2006 because of due process violations by the trial judge, and has been postponed several times.
  • 2005
    Age 37
    U.S. President George W. Bush welcomed Machado to the Oval Office in May 2005.
    More Details Hide Details After meeting with Machado and discussing Súmate's "efforts to safeguard the integrity and transparency of Venezuela's electoral process", a White House spokesperson said, "the President expressed his concerns about efforts to harass and intimidate Súmate and its leadership". Venezuela's foreign minister called Machado's meeting with Bush "a provocation," while Venezuela's interior minister said that she is a puppet of the CIA. Machado was hailed by National Review in 2006 as "the best of womankind and the difficult times many women face around the globe" on a list of Women the World Should Know for International Women's Day. In 2009, Machado was chosen out of 900 applicants as one of 15 accepted to the Yale World Fellows Program. The Yale University program, "aims to build a global network of emerging leaders and to broaden international understanding worldwide.... 'Each of the 2009 Yale World Fellows has demonstrated an outstanding record of accomplishment and unlimited potential for future success,' said Program Director Michael Cappello". The Yale World Fellows Program press release said, "Machado devotes herself to defending democratic institutions and civil liberties through SUMATE, the nation's leading watchdog for electoral transparency."
    When the state-run television channel interviewed Machado, they ran images of her Oval Office meeting in 2005 with George W. Bush, described by an Associated Press reporter as "Chavez's longtime nemesis".
    More Details Hide Details She said, "We have a campaign led by the PSUV with a lot of resources that we know are public resources – even when the constitution prohibits it. The PSUV benefitted from frequent cadenas (Chávez speeches that every Venezuelan TV channel are mandated to run), while "the main government channel aired a steady stream of rallies and ads featuring Chavez's red-clad candidates". When Machado was interviewed by the state-run channel, the interview was "abruptly cut off" and "shifted to a campaign rally where Chávez spoke to a theater filled with supporters".
    Machado acknowledged in 2005 the support of Venezuelans for Chávez, saying "We have to recognize the positive things that have been done", but says that the president is "increasingly intolerant".
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    Also in 2005, The New York Times said she was "the Venezuelan government's most detested adversary, a young woman with a quick wit and machine-gun-fast delivery who often appears in Washington or Madrid to denounce what she calls the erosion of democracy under President Hugo Chávez", and says the Venezuelan government considers her "a member of a corrupt elite that is doing the bidding of the much reviled Bush administration".
    More Details Hide Details A U.S. Department of State spokesperson said the decision to prosecute her was "part of President Hugo Chávez's campaign... aimed at frightening members of civil society and preventing them from exercising their democratic rights", adding that the Bush administration was "seriously concerned" about the Supreme Tribunal of Justice's (TSJ) decision. The criminal charges triggered condemnation from Human Rights Watch and democracy groups, the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela, and a coalition of world leaders.
    The Wall Street Journal in 2005 said Machado faced conspiracy charge stemming from the $31,000 grant from the NED for "non-partisan educational work".
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  • 2004
    Age 36
    In 2004, Súmate led a petition drive for a constitutional presidential recall of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.
    More Details Hide Details According to CBS News, Chávez branded the leaders of Súmate as conspirators, coup plotters and lackeys of the U.S. government. After the referendum, members of Súmate were charged with treason and conspiracy, under Article 132 of the Venezuelan Penal Code, for receiving financial support for their activities from the NED.
  • 2001
    Age 33
    According to The Washington Post, the founding of Venezuelan volunteer civil organization Súmate resulted from a hurried encounter between Machado and Alejandro Plaz in a hotel lobby in 2001, where they shared their concern about the course that was being shaped for Venezuela.
    More Details Hide Details Machado said, "Something clicked. I had this unsettling feeling that I could not stay at home and watch the country get polarized and collapse. We had to keep the electoral process but change the course, to give Venezuelans the chance to count ourselves, to dissipate tensions before they built up. It was a choice of ballots over bullets."
  • 1993
    Age 25
    After working in the auto industry in Valencia she moved in 1993 to Caracas.
    More Details Hide Details Because of her subsequent role in Súmate, Machado left the foundation so that it would not be politicized.
  • 1992
    Age 24
    In 1992 Machado - a mother of three - started Fundación Atenea (Atenea Foundation), a foundation using private donations to care for orphaned and delinquent Caracas street children; she also served as chair of the Oportunitas Foundation.
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  • 1967
    Machado was born 7 October 1967 as the "eldest of four daughters of a steel entrepreneur and an accomplished psychologist".
    More Details Hide Details She acknowledges a "childhood protected from contact with reality" in a "conservative, staunchly Catholic family", that included education in private schools in Venezuela and boarding schools in the USA and several trips in Europe. Her ancestors included the author of the 1881 classic Venezuela Heroica and a relative who was killed in an uprising against Venezuelan dictator Juan Vicente Gómez. Machado has a degree in industrial engineering from Andrés Bello Catholic University and a master's degree in finance from Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración (IESA, business school) in Caracas.
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