With streets and avenues overflowing with hope, Venezuela’s opposition leader, María Corina Machado, closed her tour of Táchira State

With streets and avenues overflowing with hope, Venezuela’s opposition leader, María Corina Machado, closed her tour of Táchira State

Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado greets her supporters during a campaign rally in San Cristóbal, Táchira State, Venezuela, on June 28th, 2024. Tens of thousands filled one of the main avenues of San Cristóbal, in the Venezuelan Andes, accompanying María Corina Machado, the ‘rock star’ of the opposition campaign one month before the presidential elections in Venezuela. (Photo by Schneyder Mendoza / AFP)


Once again, the people of TachirState demonstrated their desire for change and to rescue democracy in Venezuela. This Friday more than 85 thousand people filled Francisco García de Hevia Avenue, better known as 5th Avenue of San Cristóbal, where with flags, whistles and banners they received the national leader, María Corina Machado, in what was the grand closing of her tour through Táchira.

Luz Dary Depablos / Corresplonsalía lapatilla.com

This is the fourth time that the emblematic avenue of the capital of Tachira is filled with citizens in a civic demonstration. Carlos Andrés Pérez, Hugo Chávez, Henrique Capriles and now MCM, are the politicians who have managed to fill up the 5th avenue of San Cristóbal from end to end, but on this occasion, unlike the previous ones, the crowd surpassed this and overflowed into Libertador Avenue.

Despite the absolute blockade of the main access roads to San Cristóbal by the regional government, the lack of fuel supply and public transportation, as well as the persecution of local leaders, Táchira once again proved to be the state historically more opposed to the regime in Venezuela.

From very early on this day the atmosphere in the metropolitan municipalities was one of great excitement. In the WhatsApp groups and on the streets, there was only talk of MCM’s visit and of attending the rally with family, friends or even each citizen individually to receive her and in this way demonstrate their support for the presidential candidate, Edmundo Gónzalez.

The Iron Lady began her journey in Palmira, Guásimos municipality where she stayed in a family’s home, in order to prevent more businesses from being shuttered by the government in San Cristóbal.

In a caravan with hundreds of motorcyclists and all kinds of vehicles, she arrived at ‘Vente Venezuela’s house’ (her political party’s regional headquarters), located in Barrio Obrero, where she offered a press conference which was attended not only by local and national media, but also by the main international agencies and media.

While the national leader was declaring to the press, in parallel in the neighboring town of Táriba, Cárdenas Municipality, thousands of people began to gather in the vicinity of the Basilica of Our Lady of Consolation of Táriba, where they were waiting for her.

But in an improvised manner, Freddy Bernal, the Chavista Governor of Táchira, also called on Chavismo sympathizers to reject MCM’s visit. These people were mobilized in dozens of buses, that is, they did not arrive voluntarily on their own, unlike who received the Iron Lady.

At the end of the press conference in Barrio Obrero, MCM returned to Palmira again, so citizens expected that on the return trip to San Cristóbal, she would visit the Basilica of Táriba.

However, given the number of stops due to the clamor of citizens in the streets, the route was extended and they decided to go directly along the highway to head towards San Cristóbal, that is, right by the side of the town of Táriba.

When the overpass in Cárdenas Municipality, her rally coincided with the Chavista rally. She passed over it, on the highway, while the Chavistas from below near the Táriba CDI shouted insults and expletives at her.

The thousands of people waiting in the basilica, upon confirming that she would not stop in Táriba, started towards San Cristóbal.

After 6:00 pm, MCM had its monumental entry in her “Corimovil” in which a gigantography with the face of Edmundo González stood out, from there she made a video call to the presidential candidate to show him part of the huge crowd of ‘Tachirenses’ who are supporting his candidacy.

Tears of emotion and messages on banners asking for “freedom” and the return of their relatives to the country and the cries of protest “Yes we can”, “And it is going to fall and it is going to fall, this government is going to fall” resounded throughout her route, where people cheered full of hope, begging her to free Venezuela.

It should be noted that crossing 5th Avenue by vehicle can take between 5 and 7 minutes, but it took her more than 3 and a half hours to complete this leg of the tour.

Unlike the tours in other states, there was no closing speech at the end of the tour through Táchira, however, citizens just wanted to feel the emotion of seeing her in person.

Finally, as MCM finished her march along the avenue, citizens peacefully left to return to their homes, many doing so on foot.