Sympathizers of Venezuelan opposition leader assault peaceful protestors in Ottawa

Machado’s visit to Canada furthers her track-record of violence

OTTAWA – Dozens of peaceful protestors were assaulted by sympathizers of Maria Corina Machado, a former opposition member of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, outside of a scheduled talk at the University of Ottawa.

About 30 concerned Canadians gathered to protest Machado’s visit. Machado has a history of violent and undemocratic activities in Venezuela including; participating in the 2002 coup, and more recently, encouraging street riots that have claimed the lives of over 40 people, including six police officers, several public servants and numerous pro-government activists.  

Machado in now rejecting peace-building talks with the Government and has called for a boycott of the government-sponsored “Dialogue Table,” despite the presence of a broad representation of civil society as well as government and opposition leaders.

“A small but diverse group including women and seniors gathered with placards and slogans against the violence and anti-democratic politics that Machado represents and we were met with aggression and violence from her supporters” said Walter Escobar, who was among those assaulted by Machado’s supporters. “Machado and her supporters talk about democracy and peaceful protest, but they show time and time again that they have little respect or interest for either.”

Earlier in the day, Machado met with Conservative Members of Parliament and Senators, including Senator Noel Kinsella, Andrew Scheer (MP – Regina-Qu’Appelle), Chris Alexander (MP –  Ajax-Pickering) and Randy Hoback (MP – Prince Albert). On May 8th, Machado is scheduled to speak in Toronto at the Canadian Council of the Americas before an engagement at the University of Toronto.

“Given the threats made just a few short weeks ago against Father Astudillo, it is abhorrent but not surprising that they would assault peaceful protestors in Ottawa,”said Laura Avalos, a candidate for the National Assembly of Quebec for Quebec Solidaire in the past April elections, who recorded the altercations. She was referring to the death threats against a Toronto priest by Venezuelan opposition sympathizers. “We reject this violence and intimidation here and call on the politicians who met with this individual as well as the event organizers to resoundingly condemn these actions. Moreover, we call on Machado to reject the use of violence in politics, both here and in Venezuela.”

Tonight Maria Corina Machado is scheduled to speak at the University of Toronto at 7:30pm at Victoria College Campus Northrop Frye Hall Building Room NF 003 (basement level), 73 Queen’s Park Crescent in Toronto.



Laura Avalos

Walter Escobar
Organizer Organizer