International Women’s Congress for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples in Caracas. Photo: Correo del Orinoco
By Cheryl LaBash
Sept. 20, 2019 — The I Congreso Internacional de Mujeres — the first International Women’s Congress for Peace and Solidarity Among Peoples, organized by the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela — begins today. And what better place than Caracas in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for a meeting that is needed so much.
Although invited, I am not in the Venezuelan capital. This is the story of my attempted trip to Caracas.
The words “blockade” and “economic warfare” factually describe what the U.S. ruling class is doing to the Venezuelan people. No only medicine and food are denied for the people, but also access and travel.
As they say, though, the devil is in the details. On my way to the women’s congress in Caracas, I experienced and witnessed some of those details.
On Sept. 18, a long queue of passengers for the flight from Medellín, Colombia, to Caracas appeared to be for several airlines. But really it was only for my connecting flight, the one flight that day on the only airline that flies directly from Medellín to Caracas.
Getting bumped off a flight in the U.S. is not such a big deal. There is always another flight. But the privilege in an imperialist behemoth is nonexistent when traveling to Caracas.
The airline Avior refused to give me a boarding pass because I could not present a visa — a document from the Venezuelan government authorizing my entry. “Go reschedule your flight,” I was told. The next available flight was a week later — after the conference.
The travel authorization had been emailed to me, but somehow that document did not arrive. A picture of the letter sent by social media arrived too late.
No problem, right? In the U.S., the quick solution is to rent a car. But the Colombian government is a partner with the U.S. in its regime change plots. Over land was clearly not an option to waste time exploring.
In Medellín, with internet at the airport, surely another flight could be found.
But wait! This journey originated in Washington. Is Medellín really on the way? No, the route I had to take, when I wanted to arrive a day early for the conference, was: D.C. to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Panama City, Panama, to Medellín, and then Caracas….