World

Brazilian lawmakers unable to get to Caracas for meetings; Brazil's government voices dismay

  • Brazilian Senators Aloysio Nunes, right, and Jose Agripino speak on their cell phones as they ride in a van after departing the airport in la Guaira, Venezuela, Thursday, June 18, 2015. The group of Brazilian senators failed to reach the capital city of Caracas twice, due to traffic caused by a demonstration and road maintenance. The delegation had traveled to Venezuela to meet with members of Venezuela's opposition but returned to the airport to fly back to Brazil. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Brazilian Senators Aloysio Nunes, right, and Jose Agripino speak on their cell phones as they ride in a van after departing the airport in la Guaira, Venezuela, Thursday, June 18, 2015. The group of Brazilian senators failed to reach the capital city of Caracas twice, due to traffic caused by a demonstration and road maintenance. The delegation had traveled to Venezuela to meet with members of Venezuela's opposition but returned to the airport to fly back to Brazil. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brazilian Senator Aecio Neves, left, speaks with Venezuela’s former opposition lawmaker Maria Corina Machado inside a van after leaving the airport in La Guaira, Venezuela, Thursday, June 18, 2015. The group of Brazilian senators failed to reach the capital city of Caracas twice, due to traffic caused by a demonstration and road maintenance. The delegation had traveled to Venezuela to meet with members of Venezuela's opposition but returned to the airport to fly back to Brazil. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Brazilian Senator Aecio Neves, left, speaks with Venezuela’s former opposition lawmaker Maria Corina Machado inside a van after leaving the airport in La Guaira, Venezuela, Thursday, June 18, 2015. The group of Brazilian senators failed to reach the capital city of Caracas twice, due to traffic caused by a demonstration and road maintenance. The delegation had traveled to Venezuela to meet with members of Venezuela's opposition but returned to the airport to fly back to Brazil. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brazilian Senators' Ricardo Ferraco, right, and Ronaldo Caiado, center, speak on their cell phones as they depart the airport in a van in La Guaira, Venezuela, Thursday, June 18, 2015. The group of Brazilian senators failed to reach the capital city of Caracas twice, due to traffic caused by a demonstration and road maintenance. The delegation had traveled to Venezuela to meet with members of Venezuela's opposition but returned to the airport to fly back to Brazil. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    Brazilian Senators' Ricardo Ferraco, right, and Ronaldo Caiado, center, speak on their cell phones as they depart the airport in a van in La Guaira, Venezuela, Thursday, June 18, 2015. The group of Brazilian senators failed to reach the capital city of Caracas twice, due to traffic caused by a demonstration and road maintenance. The delegation had traveled to Venezuela to meet with members of Venezuela's opposition but returned to the airport to fly back to Brazil. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

A group of Brazilian senators who went to Venezuela to meet with jailed opposition politicians didn't make it far past the airport.

The group headed by Brazilian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Aecio Neves landed at a coastal airport Thursday, but turned back before making it to Caracas, citing congestion and a protest. The drive usually takes an hour.

Venezuelan hardline opposition leader Maria Corina Machado said maintenance work snarled traffic and pro-government protesters surrounded the lawmakers' bus in a threatening way.

The group wanted to visit imprisoned ex-mayor Leopoldo Lopez, among others.

After the lawmakers headed back home, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry released a statement saying hostile acts against its politicians are unacceptable and promising to seek an explanation from the Venezuelan government.