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The Venezuelan government finally addressed statements from the United Nations calling for the immediate release of Leopoldo Lopez and other political prisoners, calling the demands “insincere” .

The Venezuelan mission in Geneva issued a statement which reads in part:

For the government of President Nicolas Maduro Moros, these statements by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein are without a doubt subscribed to the international media manipulation denounced by the Bolivarian government.

The statement also accuses Al Hussein of “exceeding his mandate” and a “lack of knowledge” about his role as United States High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On the fact that Al Hussein personally met with Lilian Tintori days before issuing his statement, the Venezuelan government says:

This is without a doubt reprehensible conduct. It shows a grave disrespect to our national dignity for the High Commissioner bestow the character of representative of the Venezuelan people to a person from the opposition golpista [which is seeking to overthrow the government].  In this way, the High Commissioner ignores the authentic representatives of the Venezuelan state.

Leopoldo Lopez, the leader of the Voluntad Popular opposition political party, has been in a military prison since February 18 on charges that he instigated the violence that shook Caracas on February 12.

Maduro Announces Banking Changes, Attacks Reuters

In a speech this evening, Maduro announced that going forward, Venezuela will try to refrain from using international banking institutions to secure funds. Maduro elaborated, saying:

We’re not going to access or ask for credit under the conditions that global capitalist banks ask for. We won’t do it. Fortunately, we have other sources.

Venezuelan bonds are the riskiest in the world, given the negative economic outlook economists have placed on the country. As a result, their price has decreased 12.8% so far this year, while the index tracking bonds in countries from emerging markets has increased 9.3%.

Maduro also attacked Reuters, the international news organization, saying that it was part of a campaign to “destroy Venezuela”:

I call [on all Venezuelans] to join forces… so that we can reject all of these campaigns. Do you believe this campaign [that says] that we are about to default, that things are worse now, spouted by news agencies like Reuters, for example? What does Reuters want? Do you think that a news agency like Reuters can work for the good of Venezuela? Just to name one which has declared itself part of a campaign to destroy Venezuela and to hurt her. I denounce this because it’s hurting her…

The President also lashed out at the “right wing” in general, saying:

The path of justice and also of severe punishment to whoever commits murders, assassinations, terrorism, call it whatever you want, wherever they may be, be they supported by the international right wing or whatever.
(…)
… and we will continue to insist that no ultra-right wing terrorists will lead us away from the path of constructive work, national unity, and the dialogue with all of Venezuela. No one will lead us away from this.

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