On June 7, 2012 the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations Program hosted an off-the-record roundtable discussion with Maria Corina Machado, Venezuelan opposition leader and member of the National Assembly.

Ms. Machado addressed the current political atmosphere in Venezuela and discussed with participants the role of the international community in supporting democracy and rule of law, particularly in light of the upcoming elections. The session was moderated by Fran Burwell, vice president and director of the Transatlantic Relations program at the Council. This event was the first in the Council’s programming on Latin America.

A former businesswoman, Ms. Machado established a foundation to aid Caracas street children and orphans. Along with several colleagues, she went on to found Súmate, Venezuela’s leading watchdog for electoral transparency and promoter of civil liberties and political rights. Often viewed as a future presidential candidate herself, she is currently supporting Henrique Capriles Radonski, the current opposition presidential candidate, who will run against Chavez in October. She has been a member of the National Assembly of Venezuela since September 2010.