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Rights Organization says Venezuela Denied Entry to Delegation

FILE - People gather at the gates of Copa Airlines headquarters in Caracas, Venezuela, Apr. 6, 2018.

A regional human rights organization said Tuesday that Venezuela has denied entry to a delegation that sought to review the human rights situation in the crisis-torn country.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights said the delegation would instead meet on the Colombian border with representatives of civic groups.

The delegation's leader, Esperanza Arosemena, posted a picture and message on social media saying the group had been prevented from boarding a Copa Airlines flight to Venezuela in Panama.

She said they were informed by the airline that it "received instructions from the Venezuelan regime that we were not authorized to enter the country."

The government of President Nicolas Maduro had previously indicated it would not authorize a visit by the commission, an autonomous body of the Organization of American States.

The OAS recognizes Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's legitimate president.

Maduro withdrew his government's diplomats from the organization last year, and its seat was taken over by a representative designated by Guaido.

In a statement, the rights commission said the delegation's visit was organized at the invitation of Gustavo Tarre, Guaido's representative.