CARACAS, Thursday August 13, 2009 | Update
Alexis Ramírez, President of the National Federation of Parents and Guardians Associations of Official, Private, non-Religious and Religious Education Institutes in Venezuela (Fenasopadres), reported that a march heading for the headquarters of the National Assembly to reject the Draft Organic Law on Education was suppressed by the police.
"We were marching peacefully when government's armed gangs, dressed in red, said 'you shall not pass.' As we are not violent guys, we did not accept any provocation but some people threw tear gas against us, I do not know exactly who, because there was a police cordon to prevent us from passing through," Ramírez said.
The NGO leader told news television channel Globovisión that demonstrators were dispersed by the Caracas Metropolitan Police with tear gas, plastic bullets and high-pressure water cannons.
"We had no choice but to split up. Behind us, protected by the Metropolitan Police and marching orderly, came the demonstration of the government followers, who had no problem to get to the National Assembly and voice their support for the draft law. Once again, this shows the discrimination of the government against the civil society," added Ramírez.
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.