CARACAS, Tuesday August 01, 2006 | Update
Non-governmental organization Súmate directors Maria
Corina Machado and Alejandro Plaz Tuesday appeared in the
National Assembly following an invitation to meet with the
Legislature special committee investigating their funding
of the upcoming opposition primaries, but no parliamentarian
was there to meet with them.
Machado and Plaz said they were denied access to the session and were told a new notice would be served Tuesday.
According to Plaz, this move is confusing, as they received two notices asking them to appear in the National Assembly. The two letters were signed by parliamentarian José Albornoz, head of the special committee.
Meanwhile, Machado said they were served no notice asking Félix Sánchez to attend an interrogation. According to Albornoz, Sánchez is Súmate's accountant. Machado claimed Sánchez does not belong to Súmate and is not in the NGO payroll.
Plaz added that he and Machado are the only persons who have the capacity to answer questions and provide information regarding Súmate funding.
He rejected the fact that the special committee intended to hold the meeting in private, and insisted that the National Assembly lacks capacity to investigate a private civil association conducting a private process such as the opposition primary elections ahead of December 3rd presidential polls.
Plaz underscored that Súmate "has nothing to hide."
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.