Opposition deputy Andres Velasquez was denied access to a flight he was scheduled to be on earlier today. Velasquez was scheduled to fly out of Puerto Ordaz on a Conviasa flight, but was stopped from boarding the plane at the gate by a supervisor representing the airline.
According to Velasquez, the supervisor explained that he was not allowed to board the airplane “on orders from Caracas”.
If true, this is not the first time that opposition figures have been harassed while trying to board airplanes, or outright stopped from flying. On March 15, Maria Corina Machado and her party were met by an angry mob outside the gates of the same airport, and was attacked as she tried to board her plane. On February 10, a plane Leopoldo Lopez was on was stopped from taking off, and Leopoldo Lopez was forcibly removed from the flight.
Conviasa is owned by the Venezuelan government.
Hunger Strike in La Chiquinquira
15 students entered the third day of a hunger strike today inside the church of La Chiquinquira de la Florida in Baruta, Caracas. The students are asking for the Catholic Church to take a definitive stance against the human rights violations committed by the Maduro government since the protests began in early February. Eduardo Monsalve, one of the students on strike, said that they also want justice to be done for those who have died so far this year in the demonstrations.
“Irregular” Situation Reporter in Uribana Prison
A shootout appears to have started inside the Uribana prison in Lara state at approximately 2:00 PM today, according to prison sources.
According to the relatives of some inmates, the shooting began during visiting hours. The relative speculate that some inmates might have tried to take some visitors hostage, which precipitated the violence. “Several” people were hurt during the shooting, and it appears as if the situation is ongoing. The picture below shows a flaming pile of garbage, apparently set by anxious relatives waiting outside the prison, as a sign of protest:
Venezuelan prisons are notoriously violent, and are brimming over with contraband of all kinds, including weapons and drugs. The video below is part of a report compiled by The New York Times on Venezuelan jails: