Venezuelan Opposition Leader to Receive Democracy Award

Venezuelan Congresswoman Maria Corina Machado
Venezuelan Congresswoman Maria Corina Machado

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) will honor Venezuelan opposition leader and Congresswoman Maria Corina Machado with its 2014 Charles T. Manatt Democracy Award.

Machado has been the target of numerous accusations by the Venezuelan government and death threats since calling on citizens to publicly demonstrate against President Nicolas Maduro.

Upon traveling to Washington, D.C. in March to denounce Maduro’s administration at the Organization of American States, Venezuela’s National Assembly barred Machado from serving as a legislator and accused her of treason.

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“IFES’ recognition of Machado’s relentless efforts to defend freedom and democracy against all odds in her native Venezuela resonates throughout Latin America as others look at her example of courage and determination to safeguard the principles of political rights and civil liberties,” said IFES Board Director and former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana.

“I am honored to receive the IFES Democracy Award,” said Congresswoman Machado. “I accept this recognition on behalf of the democratic people of Venezuela, who struggle every day to restore democracy in our country.”

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Machado will receive the award on Oct. 1, 2014, at a special event in Washington, DC. IFES’ annual Manatt Democracy Award recognizes men and women who demonstrate a commitment to advancing freedom and democratic values.

Machado represents the state of Miranda in the National Assembly of Venezuela and ran as an independent presidential candidate in the opposition primaries held in February 2012. She is also a co-founder and former Chairwoman of SUMATE, Venezuela’s leading watchdog for electoral transparency.

For more information about the awards, visit here.

In the picture above: Venezuelan Congresswoman Maria Corina Machado speaks at a pro-democracy rally.

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