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Maria Corina Chooses Her Words Carefully While Condemning Maduro’s Essequibo Referendum

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5th of December, 2023. Guyana, South America. GSA News. Guyana News.

Last updated: December 5, 2023 at 15:15 pm

Maria Coria Machado, Venezuela’s political front runner and leader of the main opposition political party which is expected to challenge Nicolas Maduro for the Venezuelan Presidency in October 2024, has condemned Nicolas Maduro’s December 3 referendum which seeks public support in annexing the Essequibo. But she has chosen her words very carefully and wisely. On one hand, she seems to want to send a message of peace and respect for international law to the Guyanese Government and people, but at the same time, she has to avoid being seen as a traitor to the Venezuelan people who were erroneously being taught since primary school that “the Essequibo belongs to Venezuela.”

Maria Corina herself perhaps also genuinely believes that the Essequibo belongs to Venezuela after having been spoon fed this lie since childhood. She is just 56 years, and the Venezuelan government has been peddling this lie in the public school system for at least the last 50 years.

It is true that opposition political candidates, when out of power, will say whatever they need to say in order to gain popular support and even the help of the international community. In the past, Machado had notoriously said that Venezuela should use the military to exercise control of the Essequibo. She has promised the Venezuelan people that she will fight for the Essequibo when she gets into office. From a Venezuelan patriotic standpoint, all this is noble. But if Machado studies the border dispute from a neutral standpoint, she will see that Venezuela is on the wrong side of the law.

Maria Corina recently said that Venezuela needs to fight the case at the ICJ, which the Maduro regime is neglecting to do. She says that Venezuela has enough evidence to prove at the ICJ that the Essequibo belongs to Venezuela. In condemning the referendum, she said that “sovereignty is exercised, not consulted.” But she immediately explains that she means this in the context of fighting the case at the ICJ, and not exercising military control over the Essequibo.

In expressing her stance on the border controversy, Machado has to formulate a delicate balance of words. Despite her patriotic sentiments and alarming pronouncements in the past, there is still a glimmer of hope that Maria Corina Machado could moderate her stance on the border controversy and open the door to better relationships between Guyana and Venezuela. Her determination to fight the case at the ICJ is a signal of goodwill for both the people of Venezuela and Guyana. The Guyana Government should engage now, along with the international community, in talks with Maria Corina Machado for the future of both Venezuela and Guyana.

Venezuela, the land of the liberators, desperately needs to be liberated from the stranglehold of the tyrant, Nicolas Maduro. New leadership is needed, and Maria Corina Machado is the hope that millions at home and around the world cling to.

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