MADRID, Jan. 7 (EUROPE PRESS) –
Seven political prisoners have been released in Venezuela, under the agreement reached by the Government of Nicolás Maduro and the minority opposition parties, as reported by local NGOs.
“The National Negotiating Committee, made up of different opposition factors, today achieves the release of 14 political activists who were unjustly imprisoned,” Javier Bertucci, leader of Esperanza por el Cambio, one of the minority parties, announced on Monday. Twitter official.
Shortly thereafter, he announced that 15 would be finally released, while reiterating the willingness of the minority opposition to continue working “so that more Venezuelans will be reunited with their families.”
The NGOs Action for Freedom and Criminal Forum have clarified that in the list provided by Bertucci there are only seven political prisoners: Manuel Chacín, Jormanth Linares and Michael Vargas, detained since 2017 in El Helicoide, headquarters of Venezuelan Intelligence; journalists Rafael González and Nelson Guzmán, in El Helicoide since March; also the journalist Jesús Medina, who was in the military prison of Ramo Verde since 2018; and the director of the Chacao Market, Emilio Boulanger, in Ramo Verde since May.
Criminal Forum has denounced “the use of lists of uncertified political prisoners”, pointing out that they have resulted in “political prisoners being mixed with common prisoners”, “the number of released political prisoners has been artificially inflated” and even ” people who were no longer imprisoned have been 'released'.
“Talking about percentages and figures when it comes to human beings is always unfriendly, but we cannot help saying that the political prisoners released today only represent, more or less, 2 percent of the total certificate (388) in Venezuela. a lot of pending work, “said Gonzalo Himiob, vice president of the Criminal Forum.
Criminal Forum, which tracks the prison population in Venezuela, reported last Friday that the country begins 2020 with a record number of political prisoners: 388, of which 270 are civilians and 118 are military.
The Maduro government and the minority opposition signed an agreement in September to resume the dialogue that already included concrete pacts, such as the release of political prisoners. Since then there have been several releases.
The release of these 14 people has occurred in the context of the escalation of tension that began on Sunday when Venezuelan forces prevented Juan Guaidó and the deputies who support him from accessing the Legislative Palace to re-elect him as president of the National Assembly.
Guaidó and his people moved to the drafting of the Venezuelan newspaper 'El Nacional', where the vote was held, in which he was re-elected with 100 votes, well above the necessary 84. At the same time, 'Chavismo' and the dissident opposition elected Luis Parra for the same position.