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Venezuela blocking trip to visit Europe leaders, Tintori says

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Caracas (AFP)

The wife of jailed opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez said Venezuelan airport agents on Saturday stopped her from traveling to meet the leaders of France, Germany, Spain and Britain.

Lilian Tintori said on Twitter that immigration officials confiscated her passport on orders from the chief prosecutor's office.

Tintori was set to hold meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela.

International powers accuse President Nicolas Maduro of dismantling democracy by taking over state institutions in order to resist opposition pressure for him to quit, amid an economic crisis that has caused shortages of food and medicine.

Tintori posted a picture on Twitter showing her at the airport with the ambassadors of Spain, Germany and Italy, who she said were "witnesses to this outrage by the dictatorship."

"They just stopped me from leaving the country. The dictatorship wants to prevent us from making a very important international tour," Tintori tweeted.

Julio Borges, head of opposition-led National Assembly, earlier tweeted that he would be traveling to meet the same foreign leaders.

It was unclear if Borges had already left the country.

Tintori's husband was sentenced in 2015 to nearly 14 years in prison on charges of inciting deadly violence in street protests.

In July, Lopez was moved to his home and placed under house arrest after spending nearly 3.5 years in a military prison.

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