Venezuela frees opposition lawmaker ahead of UN rights chief’s visit
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Venezuela frees opposition lawmaker ahead of UN rights chief’s visit

Gilber Caro, who was detained in April, was freed on Monday, said the opposition-controlled National Assembly in a Twitter message. Caro had previously spent 18 months in prison for treason and weapons charges between 2017 and 2018. He was released in June last year. The lawmaker is from the same party of opposition figure Juan Guaio, who unilaterally declared himself “interim president” of Venezuela in January. Guaido, who was recognized by the US and his western allies, orchestrated a coup against the government of Maduro on April 30. Following the putsch that was quickly petered out by the army, Venezuela’s top court ordered the prosecution of several lawmakers for high treason and conspiracy through the supporting of a coup attempt. Guaido’s “chief of staff” Roberto Marrero and defunct National Assembly Vice President Edgar Zambrano are among the detainees. UN rights chief to meet Maduro, Guaido The development comes as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is scheduled to visit Caracas for talks with President Nicolas Maduro and Guaido. She will also hold talks with civil society leaders and “victims of human rights violations and abuses,” the UN rights office said. Bachelet, who has criticized US sanctions against Maduro’s government, warned that they were exacerbating the crisis and possibly hurting “people’s basic rights and well-being.” The administration of US President Donald Trump has levied several rounds of sanctions against Venezuela to oust Maduro and replace him with Guaido. Washington has confiscated Venezuela’s state oil assets based in the US to channel them to Guaido. According to the United Nations figures, a quarter of Venezuela’s 30-million-strong population is in need of humanitarian aid.

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