Persecution of María Corina Machado in Venezuela: Chavismo’s First Arrest

Bolivarian revolution has claimed its first victim in the ongoing persecution against opposition leader María Corina Machado. Roberto Abdul, the president of the electoral organization Súmate, has been arrested.

Abdul also played a crucial role in the National Primary Committee (CNP), responsible for organizing the historic opposition primaries in October. Machado, the founder of Súmate in 2002, immediately called for a strong international response following Abdul’s detention and his transfer to the custody of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin).

Bolivarian prosecutor launched an offensive on Wednesday against Machado’s close collaborators. Despite being unlawfully disqualified by the government of Nicolás Maduro, Machado leads all the polls for next year’s presidential elections with a significant advantage of up to 60 points over the incumbent president.

The revolution has now targeted three key individuals within Machado’s political machinery: Henry Alvírez (national coordinator of the party), Claudia Macero (head of Communication), and Pedro Urruchurtu (coordinator of International Relations).

This maneuver by the Chavismo regime intentionally undermines the Barbados agreements between the government and the opposition, which were supervised by the United States. The regime has resorted to the infamous “revolving door” strategy, which has long been denounced by the Venezuelan Penal Forum, an organization dedicated to protecting political prisoners.

Since the signing of the agreements in October, the revolution has only released five prisoners out of the 275 who are currently suffering under the cruelty of the Bolivarian regime. Furthermore, they are already threatening with further detentions.

In response to the offensive, Machado firmly stated, “Far from stopping us, this gives us more strength to continue. If they want to deviate from the electoral path, we will stay on it.” This tactic aims to politically weaken Machado and undermine her party’s structure, similar to the actions taken against the then-interim president, Juan Guaidó, in 2019.

Detention of Roberto Abdul

The recent events surrounding the arrest of Roberto Abdul have raised serious concerns. Abdul’s sole activity has been to provide assistance through the NGO Súmate to parties that have requested it. All those targeted are honorable individuals who have given their all for their country. Their families are terrified because this undoubtedly generates immense anguish within the party and the civil society organizations committed to the fight for freedom in Venezuela. Machado denounced these acts before the European Parliament in a video message, stating, “We will continue forward.”

Immediately, journalist Claudia Macero, highly respected within the profession, received solidarity from her colleagues. The Journalists’ Union rejected the criminalization and defended her professional trajectory and the exercise of her citizen rights, warning of the imminent violation of her liberties.

Chavismo regime labels them all as traitors to the nation and includes them in a dark conspiracy that only exists in the propagandistic rhetoric of the Venezuelan government.

It is worth noting that Roland Carreño, a journalist and activist closely tied to Guaidó, endured three years in prison and was only released as part of the Barbados Agreements. Roberto Marrero, the right-hand man of the former legislative president, spent 17 months in prison, while the strategic Hispano-Venezuelan advisor, Demóstenes Quijada, endured five months of mistreatment in a cell at Helicoide, the main headquarters of Sebin.

The International Community’s Response

María Corina Machado’s arrest and the persecution of her close collaborators have prompted an international outcry. Many countries and organizations have condemned these actions and expressed their solidarity with Machado and her team. The European Parliament, in particular, has been vocal in its support for Machado and has called for her immediate release.

United States, a strong ally of the Venezuelan opposition, has also condemned the arrests and called for the Maduro regime to respect democratic principles and human rights. The State Department has issued a statement expressing concern over the deteriorating political situation in Venezuela and the escalating persecution of opposition figures.

Organization of American States (OAS) has also expressed its deep concern over these events, stating that they undermine the democratic processes and institutions in Venezuela. The OAS Secretary-General has called for an end to the repression and the release of all political prisoners.

Conclusion

Arrest of Roberto Abdul and the persecution of María Corina Machado and her team are clear indications of the Maduro regime’s determination to suppress any opposition to its grip on power. The international community must unite and condemn these actions, demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners and the restoration of democratic processes in Venezuela.

Machado and her supporters remain resolute in their commitment to the electoral path and the fight for freedom. Despite the regime’s attempts to weaken her politically and undermine her party’s structure, Machado continues to lead the polls by a significant margin. The persecution she faces only strengthens her resolve and determination to bring about change in Venezuela.

The world is watching, and it is crucial for the international community to stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan people, supporting their aspirations for democracy and freedom. The arrest of Roberto Abdul must not go unnoticed, and the pressure on the Maduro regime must continue until all political prisoners are released and democracy is restored in Venezuela.