Brazilian Senators Attacked On Visit to Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leader
June 19, 2015 By Staff
Top Story — Eight Brazilian senators had the bus in which they traveling pelted with stones as they traveled from the Caracas airport in Venezuela to visit a jailed opposition leader. The senators were forced to flee and Brazil’s foreign ministry is seeking an explanation from Venezuela’s government.
The senators were planning to visit Leopoldo López, a leader in Venezuela’s opposition movement, who has been in jail for over a year over his role in allegedly planning a series of protests against President Nicolás Maduro that became violent, resulting in a total of 43 deaths. While imprisoned, López began a hunger strike on May 24 that has gained international attention and has recently inspired Venezuelan students to join him in solidarity
The eight Brazilian senators landed in Caracas Thursday with plans to visit López, but their bus was attacked just hours after landing. One senator tweeted a description of the siege, saying people tried to break into their bus and threw stones at it, and later suggested Venezuela should be excluded from Mercosul for, in his words, being a dictatorship. The group returned to the airport with plans to fly back to Brazil immediately afterwards, according to The BBC.
This is not the first time politicians have been prevented from visiting López. In January the former presidents of Colombia and Chile were denied entry to the Ramo Verde prison where López is held, leading people to question whether his visitation rights are being violated due to his political beliefs.
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