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Venezuela: Opposition legislator Maria Corina returns to Caracas

Opposition Venezuelan lawmaker Maria Corina Machado has returned to Caracas after having her mandate revoked.

Ms Corina was in Peru when the National Assembly stripped her of her parliamentary immunity on Monday.

The Assembly said she breached the Venezuelan constitution last week when she addressed the Organisation of American States as a guest of Panama.

Speaking to hundreds of supporters in Caracas, Ms Corina said she had been illegally dismissed.

“I am a still a legislator, more than ever, and will continue my activities inside and outside the National Assembly,” she said.

National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello had threatened to have her arrested for “acting as a Panamanian ambassador” before the OAS.

She was also accused of inciting violence.

Ms Corina was welcomed at the main Caracas airport by hundreds of supporters, who followed her to a demonstration in an opposition stronghold in the east of the capital.

“Mr Cabello has violated all of the laws of the nation. He does not know what the procedures are to have a lawmaker sacked from his post,” she said.

“If the price that I have to pay so that our voice is heard around the world is this persecution and these threats, I’ll pay it once and a thousand times.”

‘Plotting generals’
Venezuela has faced nearly two months of streets protests, with the opposition blaming the government’s failed left-wing policies for high inflation, crime and the shortage of many staples.

Thirty-five people – from both sides of the political divide – have been killed in the protests, according to the government.

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