Venezuelan Solidarity Convoy Bound for Honduras Detained in Colombia

A Venezuelan solidarity convoy of sixty people bound for Honduras was detained in Maicao, Colombia, by military forces, Venezuelan public television channel VTV reported on Monday.

By Kiraz Janicke - Venezuelanalysis.com
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June 7, 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - A solidarity convoy of sixty people bound for Honduras was detained in Maicao, Colombia, by military forces, Venezuelan public television channel VTV reported on Monday. The convoy, which included nineteen Honduran doctors, was initiated by grassroots organisations, workers representatives and students in Venezuela and aimed to show solidarity with the Honduran people in the aftermath of the military coup that ousted the democratically elected president of that country, Manuel Zelaya, on June 28.

Miguel Mora, a member of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), and a participant in the convoy, denounced via telephone, that immediately after Colombian customs had allowed the convoy to cross the border, they were detained by the Administrative Security Department (DAS) of Colombia, who alleged they had committed crimes, such as carrying political material.

"First they allowed us to pass, but when we had crossed the border towards the interior of Colombia and we were going in buses with logos of President Hugo Chavez that said ‘Solidarity with the Honduran people',  the DAS immediately detained us alleging that we were committing a crime that in their country is not allowed, of carrying political material, of carrying images of President Chavez and material in solidarity with the Honduran people," Mora explained.

The convoy, which departed on Saturday from Simon Bolivar House, Caracas, had planned to pass through Colombia, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and arrive a few days later in Honduras via land.

Mora said the forty Venezuelans, nineteen Honduran doctors and one Cuban participating in the convoy remained detained; their passports had been taken from them and the place where they were located, cordoned off. Mora indicated that he had managed to slip away with a telephone and, through this, communicate with VTV.

 "They detained us simply for carrying pictures of Chavez and a solidarity banner with the Honduran people," he said.