Venezuelan students carry protest to door of Tico embassy

A trio of Venezuelan students unhappy with the administration of Hugo Chávez has begun a hunger strike at the door to the Costa Rican embassy in Caracas.

The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Culto here reported on the developments and said that the students showed up Monday and said they were members of the Fundación Juventud Activa Venezuela Unida. They are asking Costa Rica to ask the Organization of American States to investigate the human right situation in Venezuela, the ministry said. The students delivered a letter to that effect, it added.

Local television footage showed one of the students reclining under the Venezuelan flag.

Two weeks ago 10 students did the same thing at the offices of the hemispheric organization. They said they were seeking freedom for individuals jailed by the Chávez regime.

A posting on the foundation’s Facebook page said that 26 young persons were involved in hunger strikes at various points in the country. The posting by an individual identified as Olga Rosa Guerra said that they were seeking liberty for politicial prisoners of the Venezuelan Communist regime.

The socialist Chávez government has developed closed ties with Cuba and other countries at odds with the United States. Chávez considered Fidel Castro as his mentor. Costa Rica has muted its criticism of the Venezuela authoritarian regime, in part because of the need for cheap petroleum and because the Venezuelan government is a major employer at an aluminum plant in Esparza. Chávez had threatened to stop supplying raw materials after former president Óscar Arias Sánchez made critical comments.

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