So Fla. Venezuelan activists travel to Washington

Venezuelans' bus in 'Trip For Freedom' back on the road

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Venezuelan exiles living in South Florida boarded several buses for Washington, D.C. where they will meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Venezuelans' bus in 'Trip For Freedom' is back on the road

The caravan is part of a nationwide campaign to lobby Congress for economic sanctions against the government of Nicolas Maduro. Buses across 19 cities will arrive in Washington, D.C. early Friday morning.

"We are dying and we are suffering," said Diana Rivas. She joined a group of 150 people who gathered in Doral early Thursday before departing on the trip.

Several South Florida lawmakers have introduced bills in the House and Senate that would impose sanctions on government officials, but the bills' future is still uncertain. Officials with the State Department have expressed concerns about the severity of the sanctions in the proposed measures.

A bill introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen would deny visas to government officials, freeze their assets and make it difficult for them to do business in the U.S.

"We're defending the future generation because if we don't do something now it will be too late," said Mayor of Doral Luigi Boria.

The violence in Venezuela has left at least 41 people dead and hundreds of others missing. Several thousand members of the opposition group have been arrested and there is growing evidence of torture by pro-government forces.

Local 10 News is the only station traveling with the group.

Check out @CarlosWPLG on Twitter for updates on the road.