Friday, July 24, 2015

La mujer de hierro de Venezuela

Foreign Policy describes one tough broad ;
Congresswoman Maria Corina used to taking punches as part of her job — literally. Two years ago, a pro-government legislator broke her nose in the floor of the legislature. The assault went unpunished.
After meeting then-President George W. Bush in the Oval Office — the only member of Venezuela’s opposition ever to have such an audience — Machado was charged with treason. (She was subsequently pardoned.) More recently, she has been charged with attempting to kill President Nicolás Maduro, and a judge has barred her from leaving the country.
Her emails have been hacked and, according to independent experts, altered. Her phones are tapped, and her private conversations are frequently aired on state-run TV. Her family is constantly hounded, and mobs of government activists attack her public appearances. After being elected with the most votes of any of her colleagues, she was unceremoniously kicked out of parliament. It is fair to say that the government is obsessed with Machado.
The fact that she is a powerful woman in macho Venezuela is only part of it (where's the Hollywood treatment?). The lady also sounds like Maggie Thatcher expounding on F. A. Hayek;
The Venezuelan state, according to Machado, has to downsize — both in terms of GDP and in terms of the number of people it employs. “The state,” she told me, “oppresses Venezuelans. It needs to be a provider of public goods, and it needs to stop interfering with Venezuelans’ desire to live freely.” In a country where the state monopoly in the oil industry is taken by many as a dogma, she defends private participation in the industry.
.... Machado is clear: [price] controls must be lifted as soon as possible while implementing measures to protect vulnerable families during the transition. She also believes the price of gasoline — the lowest in the world — has to be raised, although she would oppose the move if it were implemented by this government. Machado claims it would be immoral for the current government to raise the price of gas when it gives away tens of thousands of barrels of oil per day to Cuba for free, a policy everyone in the opposition rejects.
Doubt if Nicole Kidman could do her. But we do have a favorite;

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