Caracas, April 8th 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) - As the Panama summit approaches, Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado faces a class-action lawsuit for addressing the Organization of American States (OAS) in the capacity of the body's official Panamanian representative.
In an attempt to draw attention to civil unrest in Venezuela in May last year, Machado testified at an OAS meeting in Washington using a Panamanian diplomatic representative’s seat. The action was described as a gross violation of both the Venezuelan Constitution and Panamanian law at the time and led to Machado being stripped of her position as National Assembly deputy in Venezuela.
Earlier this week, a group of civil and social organisations in Panama also revealed that they would be pursuing legal action against the former legislator in response to her actions.
“We have filed a lawsuit against Maria Corina Machado for usurping a Panamanian government position under the corrupt government of Ricardo Martinelli, which, having been advised by Guillermo Cochez, gave her the seat of the Panama representative so that she could speak at the OAS,” stated Olmedo Beluche, a lecturer at the University of Panama and the founder of the Popular United Movement.
“This constitutes a misappropriation and we are going to follow it up to make sure that it is penalised,” he added.
As a longtime right wing politician and founder of several Washington-financed NGOs, Machado has been linked to various efforts to violently overthrow the Bolivarian government whose almost impeccable electoral success has demoralized the opposition at the ballot box.
In 2002, Machado, together with jailed opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, was among the protagonists in the U.S.-backed coup that temporarily ousted President Hugo Chávez, signing the infamous Carmona decree that dissolved the Constitution, Supreme Court and dismissed top officials and all elected representatives.
“The binational organisations bear responsibility, but so does Maria Corina Machado,” explained Beluche.
Machado's U.S.-funded NGO "Súmate" will also be present at the Summit of the Americas this weekend as part of the international right wing campaign to disparage Venezuela's human rights record.