While the eyes of the world are concerned with Ebola and the Islamic State, in Venezuela - formerly the most stable and dynamic democracy of Latin America - a dictatorship is consolidating itself. In recent months, the socialist regime of HIM Nicolás Maduro, heir of Hugo Chavez, has increased the persecution of opposition leaders, arresting many and forcing others into exile. Now, the latest victim of the witch hunt is the former congresswoman and opposition leader Maria Corina Machado.
The new nemesis of the revolution appears to be a woman of a wealthy class and bourgeois femininity, a harmless butterfly that is no threat to anyone: but beyond her delicate appearance, María Corina is a rapacious eagle. Her popularity was consolidated when she was elected as congresswoman of the state of Miranda, Venezuela's second most populous state, in 2011 and subsequently after she interrupted President Chavéz in one of his speeches to complain about listening him speak for eight hours and then, impressing many, accused him of being a robber due to his expropriations. Later - after being beaten, kicked and pushed by the stairs by chavistas in the National Assembly - María Corina took a major leadership in the opposition movement after the February protests and the arrest of Leopoldo Lopez. Because of this, Machado managed that Panama ceded its chair on the OAS so she could express the oppression in Venezuela which costed her the wrath of the Venezuelan regime which unconstitutionally dismissed her from the National Assembly.
Now Maduro's government is accusing her of an imaginary plan to murder him and conspiracy and, if convicted, Maria Corina could face up to 16 years in prison, joining the list of political prisoners - students, mayors, judges and opposition leaders - and violations of human rights of the Venezuelan state. Freedom of expression has become a caged bird, a parrot in Caracas' suburbs.
Here, in the North and South, freedom is gone and human rights are a sunken dream. Here, a cowardly dictatorship pursues an admirable woman for opposing his brutality, like the dragon and the Virgin - who always steps on the snake - in the Book of Revelation.
My blood boils with so much injustice. When will the abusing stop? When will they respect the Venezuelan people? We have become warlords; a country dominated by violence and abuse. We are a humiliated, trampled people. We are forced to make endless queues in the market and people die every night. What have we become? In this persecution of Maria Corina I do not see Venezuela. I do not see my country, the civilization of black gold. I see the dictatorial Cuba of Fidel, I see Perón's broken Argentina. We have disfigured the face of Venezuela and La Tierra de Gracia bleeds. In the air, only the sweaty terror of a petrodespot oligarchy before its imminent end is felt. A red halo of violence and abuse is felt. The kicks of a hanged person are felt.
It is time to say enough!