María de los Ángeles
María de los Ángeles is a Venezuelan telenovela written by Julio César Mármol and produced by RCTV in 1997. The telenovela lasted for 113 episodes and was distributed internationally by RCTV International.
Set in the Venezuelan countryside, the story begins with a pact of love between 2 children: Orquídea and Radamés who swear eternal love for each other to the Virgin Mary. As they grow older, their loves becomes stronger. But their destinies change forever when Orquídea's powerful step-father Don Teófilo Córdoba plans to marry her off to Vladimir Arévalo, a rich, older businessman with a son from a previous marriage. Orquídea is disgusted with the idea and plans to run off with Radamés, a humble worker at her step-father's hacienda. However, they are caught, and as a means of breaking up their relationship forever, the cruel Teófilo forces Radamés to become a witness at Orquídea's wedding, leading her to believe that he betrayed her. After the wedding celebration, Orquídea plans to run away but is locked up by Bernardo, Teófilo's trusted servant, and her new husband abuses her. Filled with rage, Orquídea swears revenge. One night, by bribing Bernardo, she locates her step-father at his lover's hut and sets fire to it, and Teófilo dies from smoke inhalation. Next, Orquídea proceeds to get revenge on Radamés by having him captured and using an axe, cuts off the hand he used to sign her marriage certificate as witness. She then orders him to leave the hacienda.