National Assembly president Henry Ramos Allup denounced yesterday that the national government had forbidden the sale of ferry and air plane tickets to legislators who wanted to travel to Margarita Island this coming week. Opposition deputies had hoped to hold a legislative session on the island to coincide with the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Allup made the announcement on his Twitter account, saying:

The cowardly government has forbidden the sale of air and sea tickets to Margarita to National Assembly officials. They are violating the right to free transit.

The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of 120 countries that are not officially aligned with either the NATO or the former Soviet Union. Venezuela is scheduled to host the organization’s 17th summit from September 13-18.

Allup also wrote:

No matter how much they dress up Margarita for the summit, they won’t be able to hide the fact that they have rotted Venezuela. It’s a tragedy for everyone.


Capriles Calls for Protests in Margarita Unless CNE Budges

Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles called for protests today to disrupt the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement next week unless the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) budges and finally announces the final date of the next step of the recall referendum process against Maduro: the collection of signatures from 20% of registered voters.

While the CNE approved the next step in principle on August 24, it did not announce a date for the event. The CNE gave itself until September 13 to finalize a date.

Capriles said that unless the announcement is made, protesters would head to the summit in Margarita to “denounce” the continued abuse against the electoral process in Venezuela.

Zapatero Meets Maduro, Talk Dialogue

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero met with Maduro today in Caracas to discuss the possibility of sitting down to dialogue with the opposition.

Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez announce the meeting through her Twitter account, and said that “the love for the homeland will triumph”.

Yesterday, Zapatero played a pivotal role in the release of Gabriel San Miguel, an opposition politician who had been held in detention since June. Jesus Torrealba, the head of the opposition bloc, called Zapatero’s role in San Miguel’s release, and reminded the Spanish politician that “there are 130” political prisoners left in Venezuela.

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