The Canadian parliament made a formal declaration today regarding the Venezuelan crisis. The House of Commons’ Subcommittee on International Human Rights issued a news release (available here) in which it condemns the “arbitrary and illegal” arrest of Leopoldo Lopez and the suppression of peaceful protests. The document also calls for the release of Leopoldo Lopez “and all political prisoners” in the country.
The release comes a week after Lilian Tintori, Leopoldo Lopez’s wife, travelled to Ottawa to meet with Canadian government officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.
AG: “No Political Persecution” in Venezuela
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said during an interview aired on Venevision today that there is no such thing as political persecution in Venezuela. Diaz said:
The [Maria Corina] Machado case has been high-profile. In fact, the media have talked about magnicide – that’s what they consider [the crime] to be – and she was summoned to be charged in connection to an investigation being conducted by the Public Minister, and she was charged with the crime of conspiracy (…) under no circumstance has she been charged with magnicide.
The Public Ministry only carries out penal persecution, but the law does not allow us to persecute politically and we don’t do that.
Diaz also said that Maria Corina’s rights as an accused were being respected.
Blackout in Caracas
A blackout affected areas of Caracas starting from around noon today. According to La Patilla, the San Bernardino, San Jose, La Candelaria, Chacao, Chacaito, Sabana Grande and Plaza Venezuela areas of the city were affected. Sporadic disruptions to the electrical system also affected large parts of the city’s east end.
By 2:00 PM, Minister of Electrical Energy Jesse Chacon tweeted that service was being gradually restored to all affected areas.