The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 25

Oh dear. Looks like MariCori has been pwned again in Colombia, this time very nicely and politely by a member of the local opposition:

Here’s the story, courtesy of Aporrea:

Last Wednesday, Venezuelan deputy María Corina Machado won the right to speak in the Colombian senate chamber. Very dramatically, she told her version of what happened during the brawl in the National Assembly, which was provoked by right-wing deputies, and how the parliamentary president, Diosdado Cabello, refused them the right to speak for not recognizing the president of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro.

During her talk, presented with a bandaged nose to show how democracy is under attack in Venezuela, the senator from the Democratic Pole, Alexander López Maya, told her that in reality it was she who was attacking democracy, and countered with the tragic history of political assassinations in Colombia.

Senator López Maya ran out of speaking time, and, in the interim, said that it negated the possibility of expressing himself. He got a colleague to cede his time to him, but there, before Machado, the president of the senate ordered López Maya to say that there was indeed freedom of expression [in Colombia], or he would not turn the microphone on.

Senator Alexander López (AL): The first order of business is that we approve a proposition that a member of the Venezuelan opposition be allowed to speak, but also the ruling party, so we should speak clearly and concretely to the country.

Secondly, Deputy Corina, neither do we share the belief that differences and discussions can be resolved by physical aggression. We lament that that has occurred, and we wish that this had not happened to you and your eight comrades. We are the opposition here in Colombia and, luckily, that is all that happened to you. I want to tell you, Dr. Corina, that we leftists have had four of our presidential candidates assassinated. They have assassinated an entire political movement of ours, the Patriotic Union, more than 3000 political directors, senators, representatives — assassinated, Dr. Corina, totally wiped out of the politics of this country. Today we, who represent the left in this land, have seen the previous government intercepting not only our mail, but our telephone calls.

The previous government persecuted us all the time. I and several of my comrades were victims of montages organized by the Army in this land. From that “democracy” my colleagues speak of came the fact that a director of the DAS, named by President Uribe, handed over to the paramilitary groups lists of union leaders so that they would be assassinated, and from that same “democracy” they speak of here, have come the murders of thousands of Colombians. Some, not all, were members of the Public Force, and termed “false positives”. In this “democracy” you speak of, the union movement has minimal rights, minimal guarantees, and every day, labor rights are violated here.

President of the Senate (PS): One minute remaining, Senator López. Remember, this is a debate.

AL: Mr. President, this is a guarantee to the opposition and to democracy.

PS: Senator Camilo Romero has the floor.

AL: President, I need more time.

PS: Senator Romero, do you cede your time to your comrade?

Camilo Romero (CR): I will speak, of course, Mr. President, but I believe it is necessary to hear out Senator López, so I ask for my time, and for more time for Senator López.

PS: Do you plan to take the floor, Senator Romero?

CR: Of course, President, as I was telling you.

PS: Senator Alexander, I will give you the time you need if you affirm truthfully that we have all democratic rights guaranteed here, but if you plan to affirm that we do not have them when you have used them so that someone will have a false image of this Congress, it seems to me that you are lacking in truth. And the Senate also has the right to rectify that. Turn on Senator López’s microphone again so he can make free use of the speech as has always been done in this chamber.

AL: That’s how it must be for the opposition. So, Dr. Corina, I told you that every day they were violating workers’ human rights here. Here, they permanently violate human rights. The defenders of human rights are permanently persecuted, attacked and assassinated, not all of them. Those who reclaim the land, in the name of thousands of campesinos, are also assassinated in this country.

So, Dr. Corina, I too lament having to tell you these particulars about my country. I hope that in other congresses they allow that we divulge all that occurs in Colombia, which is sometimes much more grave than what happens in your country. I hope that this does not occur in your country or mine, because we too love the Venezuelan people. We are Bolivarian peoples, we are peoples who are called to freedom, and for that reason, we consider that in every scenario and discussion that presents itself, everyone interprets democracy in their own way, and the democracy in this country is not such as they want to reflect in this Congress.

Just because we talk here doesn’t signify that there is democracy, not because we do our activities or have a sector of Colombians accompanying us does it signify that we have democracy here. For that reason, I too demand on behalf of this opposition, the democratic opposition of the people, I demand guarantees, not of speech, but that we can accompany the people of Colombia in their tragedy, a people of whom more than half are living in poverty, a people of whom more than a quarter are mired in indigence, a people who currently receive from their government decisions absolutely contrary to the social reality of this country.

In this way, Dr. María Corina, I want to express to you our concern for what is occurring in Venezuela, and we hope that in a spirit of conciliation, you will be able to resolve your political conflicts of this moment.

Translation mine.

Recall that the last time we heard about MariCori, she was shut out of an audience with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos — who, unlike his predecessor, El Narco Uribe, is on good terms with the Venezuelan government, and seems disposed to want to stay out of the neighboring country’s internal affairs. MariCori wangled an invite to address the Colombian congress instead, no doubt hoping to find a totally captive and sympathetic audience there.

As you can see above, she didn’t get exactly what she’d been counting on. She got a very polite, but very to-the-point dressing-down from a Colombian oppositionist who faces a great deal more political persecution than she could ever claim, legitimately or otherwise. And with that, she got a timely reminder of the tremendous irony of her own position, and of how silly she and her comrades are to come whining to the Colombian government about matters which obviously are of no concern to it.

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