Human rights activist Lilian Tintori was prevented from leaving Venezuela today on a diplomatic mission to Europe in which she was scheduled to speak to the leaders of France, Germany, England and Spain over the coming week about the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.
According to Spain’s EFE, Tintori scheduled to meet on Monday in Paris with French president Emmanuel Macron. Later in the week, they will meet with Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, followed by meetings in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and finally one in London with prime minister Theresa May.
Through a series of messages posted on her Twitter account, Tintori revealed that authorities presented her with a judicial order at the airport today as she prepared to board a plane out of the country. Tintori announced the development with the following tweet:
#URGENT I have just been prevented from leaving the country. The dictatorship wants to stop us from participating in an important international trip.
Tintori also posted a picture of the order banning her from leaving Venezuela:
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy reacted to the news of Tintori’s travel ban through Twitter, saying:
The travel ban placed against Lilian Tintori is unfortunate. They can imprison people, but not ideas. Liberty for Venezuela.
French president Emmanuel Macron also reacted, saying:
We expect Lilian Tintori in Europe. The Venezuelan opposition must remain free.
As a human rights activist and wife to jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Tintori has in the past traveled abroad to raise awareness about the ongoing Venezuelan crisis and the Maduro regime’s dictatorial repression.
Bank Executives Snared in Tintori Case
Two executives with the Banco Central de Descuento (BOD) have been summoned to appear in court next week as part of an investigation into the Lilian Tintori cash case. The summoned executives are Junior Fructuoso Marquez Ramierz and Luis Antonio Llavanero, and they are both accused of “diverting resources” from the bank to Tintori.
Tintori was found to be in possession of Bs. 200,000,000 (approximately $11,320) last week. While it is not illegal to have cash in any quantity in Venezuela, the Maduro regime has suggested that Tintori obtained the money and/or planned to use it in an unspecified, nefarious way. Tintori claims that the money was destined for “family emergencies”, among them bills related to the prolonged hospitalization of her uninsured 100-year-old grandmother.
The Public Ministry alleges that the two banking executives allowed Tintori access to the money.
Tintori, who is married to jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, has often come under attack by regime forces due to her relationship with Lopez and her work as a human rights activist.
The Cuerpo de Investigaciones Científicas Penales y Criminalísticas (CICPC), the police agency in charge of the Tintori cash investigation, has cited an organized crime and terrorism law as the basis for seizing the money and opening a case against Tintori.
Guevara: Cash Case Against Tintori Clearly Aimed at Keeping Her in Venezuela
National Assembly vice president Freddy Guevara held a press conference today in which he pointed out that the Maduro regime’s intention with launching an investigation into Tintori’s Bs. 200,000,000 in cash is now clear: to keep her inside the country and prevent her from doing her work overseas.
Guevara made the observation through his Twitter account, saying:
It’s obvious: the set-up against Lilian involving the cash (which isn’t even enough to buy a car) is to stop her from leaving the country.
Venezuela Pledges $5 Million for Hurricane Harvey Relief
The Venezuelan government has pledged $5 million in relief aid for the victims of hurricane Harvey, which struck Texas earlier this week leaving at least 50 people dead and thousands without homes.
The announcement came from foreign affairs minister Jorge Arreaza, who said on Wednesday that the money was destined for the construction of homes for affected families around the Corpus Christi area of Texas.
News of Venezuela’s aid pledge resulted in widespread condemnation from regime critics, who pointed out that Venezuela continues to suffer from the most catastrophic social end economic crisis to afflict the country in modern history.
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