CARACAS, June 1, 2007 (AFP) – Dodging police cordons around the National Assembly, thousands of students Friday managed to reach lawmakers to deny any subversive intent in their protest against the shutdown of anti-government RCTV channel.
“We’ve come here to get their document. We think there has to be a dialogue so everyone of us can be heard, even if our opinions differ,” said Podemos deputy Ismael Garcia, who left Congress to meet the students.
Thousands of students around the country have been demonstrating for a week against President Hugo Chavez’ refusal to renew RCTV’s broadcasting license, which Chavez was allowed to expire on May 27 on grounds the network was conspiring to overthrow him
While all National Assembly members were elected as Chavez supporters — no opposition members were elected since they boycotted the 2005 legislative elections — several lawmakers like Garcia appeared to break ranks with some of the president’s policies.
Riot police blocked the path to the National Assembly, so the students gathered at the offices of the Catholic Episcopal Conference, where they met with Garcia. Several other lawmakers later joined to talk with student representatives.
Government Ombudsman German Mundarin said