Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles said immigration authorities prevented him from leaving Venezuela on Thursday. He was planning to travel to New York City for a meeting at the United Nations.
Capriles said in a video he shared on Twitter that immigration authorities at the Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetía, outside of Caracas, told him that they had annulled his passport.
"My passport is valid until 2020," Capriles said. "What they want to do here is prevent us from going to the United Nations."
Capriles is one of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's archenemies. The 36th governor of the Venezuelan state of Miranda ran against Hugo Chávez in 2012 and against Maduro in 2013.
He has been leading protests in Caracas since the Supreme Court reversed its decision in April to limit the power of the National Assembly. Before the trip, Capriles wrote on Instagram that he was planning to present all of the cases of Maduro's human right abuses to the UN.
"Venezuelans are not alone," Capriles said. "We will go and defend our people and the right to a future of peace and progress in democracy for our Venezuela."
The European Union foreign ministers released a statement on Monday asking Maduro to stop the violence, release political prisoners and hold elections so that Venezuelans "can express their will in a democratic way."
Local 10 News Andrea Torres and Aliana Perez were reporting from South Florida.
Retenido https://t.co/E1GO1dL2D6— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) May 18, 2017