I’m sitting in a small conference room in e basement of a. Santiago hotel. A delicate breakfast is placed before me, and thirty people are gathered for an intimate conference on Venezuela. The attendees include former Chilean Cabinet members, members of the military, and powerful businessmen. The air is staid and the coffee may be bland, but the chemistry in the room changes as Maria Corina Machado enters.
She makes her way in, personally greeting all the guests. I guess this is what pros like to call “working the room.” They have to come to listen to her talk about the Venezuelan crisis, but mostly, they are curious to meet this standout of Venezuela’s opposition. She takes her place, center stage.
It’s my first time listening to Maria Corina live. Charming as she is in person (I picked her up at the airport, and she greeted me with a box of Torontos)…
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