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Intimidation tactic: Maduro closes restaurant, hotels after hosting opposition leader María Corina Machado

Nicolás Maduro's regime continues trying to sabotage the opposition ahead of the July 28 presidential elections

Nicolás Maduro cierra pequeño local en el estado Apure | Shutterstock y captura de pantalla

May 23, 2024 12:02pm

Updated: May 24, 2024 9:08am

The Chavismo regime of Nicolás Maduro closed a small restaurant in the state of Apure on Wednesday  after its owners posed for a photo opportunity with opposition leader María Corina Machado, according to a report published by Argentine news agency Infobae.

Machado was received in the plains state this Wednesday morning by a large crowd, and, in the middle of her journey, she decided to stop at a small empanada shop located in Corozo Pando, Vía San Fernando.

The two owners did not hesitate to show their emotion, and proudly documented the meeting online.

In the images, the famed opposition leader is seen taking a tour of the restaurant, while remembering having eaten at that place some time ago. The two women who owned the restaurant hugged Machado, and wished her strength to continue with her campaign, and took a photo.

Moments later, when Machado had already left the area, officers from the National Integrated Customs and Tax Administration Service (SENIAT) appeared to close the site for “not having the papers in order.”

The two women now say they believe their shutdown continues is just one more effort by the Caracas dictatorship to try and sabotage the opposition ahead of the July 28 presidential elections.

“They are closing our business here because María Corina Machado came to visit us—she stopped by and bought us 14 breakfasts, thank God. Then the SENIAT [Maduro regime officials] came to us,” said one of the owners, while three people from the organization reviewed the documentation.

“This is the first time in our lives that the SENIAT falls on us. The only restaurant they are closing is this one, nothing more. There are three restaurants, there are bakeries, there are liquor stores, wineries, that don't have the papers either and here they are closing the restaurant," he insisted.

Sadly, the two women are not alone.

At the beginning of the month Maduro also closed two hotels where the opposition leader had stayed on her tour of the country, suggesting that anyone who welcome her will be met with retaliation and a state enforced shut down.

The Urumaco Hotel, located in Coro, capital of the Falcón state, faced regulatory retaliation and the temporary suspension of its operations. This measure was imposed by SENIAT just after the founder of the Vente Venezuela party stayed there.

Likewise, the Chavista regime closed the El Paseo Hotel, located in Maracaibo, capital of the Zulia state, for the same reason.

Last week, exiled Venezuelan General Antonio Rivero asserted that the Maduro regime is evaluating scenarios to thwart the presidential elections called for July 28.

The retired general indicated that the regime would use security and defense reasons, especially the territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana over the Essequibo, as an excuse to cancel the elections.

Any intervention would provoke a situation of international conflict “which would lead to the regime's main purpose of suspending the elections,” Rivero added, ensuring that he has information from “high-level active military personnel” about the regime's movements to stop the elections

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.