The other day, I saw that a certain right-wing Venezuelan parliamentarian, legendary for whining to anyone who will listen (including the Shrub, above) about how her country’s been ruined, had spoken to the OAS using Panama’s seat. At the time I wondered how that could be — and why was that even allowed? She wasn’t allowed to kvetch about Venezuela, so that much was good. But what the hell was she doing there when she had a parliamentary seat back home to occupy? Why was she neglecting her own duties?
The president of the Venezuelan national assembly, Diosdado Cabello, informed on Monday that María Corina Machado had quit being a deputy of the Republic upon accepting and exercising her duty as alternative representative of the government of Panama before the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington.
Cabello pointed out that the right-wing spokeswoman violated Article 191 of the Venezuelan constitution, which states: “Deputies of the National Assembly may not accept or exercise public charges without losing their investiture, except in cases of docent, academic, accidental or assistant activities, always without exclusive dedication.”
“Being there (in the OAS), Ms. María Machado made declarations, actions, petitions, as a funcionary of the Panamanian government. That is public, notorious and communicational, when she acted she was accepting any duty the Panamanian government gave her,” said the president of the Venezuelan parliament, who also read out Panama’s communiqué to the OAS, in which Machado’s accreditation was solicited “as an alternate representative of the delegation of the Republic of Panama before the OAS, as of this date (March 20, 2014).”
Cabello said that this was not an accidental nomination, not for one day but “as of this date”, and Machado currently occupies a seat as alternate representative of Panama before the OAS.
Machado also violated Article 149 of the Venezuelan constitution, which states: “Public functionaries may not accept charges, honors or recompense from foreign governments without the authorization of the National Assembly.”
“That would be a violation of Article 149, because being a public functionary, she accepted a charge from a foreign government without the authorization of the National Assembly,” Cabello pointed out, referring to Machado’s nomination to the OAS, where she expressed her support for violent actions perpetrated inn certain sectors of the country from February 12 onward, on the part of shock-groups of the Venezuelan right, which have caused the deaths of more than 30 persons, as well as much damage and destruction, with the objective of unseating the government of President Nicolás Maduro, elected by the majority of the people.
The right-wing spokeswoman, the National Assembly president pointed out, represents “a government hostile to the government and people of Venezuela”.
On March 5, the Venezuelan government decided to suspend political, diplomatic and economic relations with Panama, following the interference of the government of Ricardo Martinelli in Venezuela’s internal affairs, and having promoted sanctions against Venezuela at the OAS.
Cabello recounted that last week, the Attorney General of Venezuela had received proofs in order to initiate an investigation and trial against Machado, on presumption of involvement in crimes against the independence and security of the nation, calls to violence, instigation to crimes, terrorism, violations of the Constitution, and treason, with the objective of promoting a coup d’état and foreign intervention in Venezuela’s internal affairs.
With the objective of rescinding her parliamentary immunity, the president of the National Assembly, along with the socialist bloc, presented the Attorney General with documents which give evidence of the alleged ties of Machado to the events in question.
On Monday, the deputy stated that now there was no need to strip Machado of parliamentary immunity, “because according to Article 191, according to this nomination (on the part of Panama), and according to her own actions and behavior, Ms. Machado has ceased to be a [Venezuelan] deputy.”
Cabello said that the opposition spokeswoman had the right to express herself and associate as she liked, but not to violate the national consitution.
He added that the now ex-deputy, who had signed the Carmona Decree which derogated all the powers of the Republic on April 12, 2002, will no longer have access to the Parliament, and her seat will be occupied by a replacement deputy, with all attributions according to law.
“What does it mean that she is not a deputy? That she doesn’t have parliamentary immunity, she doesn’t have access to the National Assembly (as would any deputy), she can be directly investigated for all the things that have been taking place, and to that can be added, with more force — high treason,” stated Cabello.
Last Friday, at OAS headquarters, María Corina Machado received the rejection of the hemispheric organization, which decided not to make public her speech in the Ordinary Session of the Permanent Council.
In a customary debate over OAS meetings, Nicaragua proposed to hold a closed-door meeting, a proposal which received the support of 22 ambassadors of the member states, while 11 voted against and one abstained.
Following the vote, the Brazilian representative, Breno Dias da Costa, who voted in favor of the closed-door session, stated that this decision was not to “impede a dialogue, but to prevent a ‘show’ for an outside audience.”
Actually, it’s backfired already, as the rejection of the OAS ambassadors has clearly shown. Rather than let MariCori have an open bully pulpit, they moved to a closed-door session. And while she wasn’t shut out, she was forced to shut up about Venezuela, at least…a country in whose parliament, as of her appearance at the OAS in Panama’s seat, she is now persona non grata. Ha, ha.