The Foro Penal Venezolano [Venezuelan Penal Forum] (FPV) announced today that it was taking issue with the Maduro regime’s claim that it had freed 79 political prisoners since Friday. The human rights NGO claims that the actual figure is 45.
The head of the FPV, Alfredo Romero, said through his Twitter account this afternoon that many of the individuals that the regime has freed since Friday do not qualify as political prisoners because the circumstances of their arrest and detention were not motivated by political reasons.
Romero explained that out of the 39 individuals who were freed on Friday in a highly publicized event, only 25 were political prisoners. And, out of the 40 released on Saturday and today, only 20 are.
The Maduro regime announced last week that it would begin to free an undisclosed number of political prisoners in the near future as part of a gesture that Maduro said he hoped would “pacify” Venezuela. Before the releases began on Friday, there were approximately 355 political prisoners in regime jails, according to the FPV.
US Musters Support Against May 20 Election at OAS
Carlos Trujillo, the U.S.ambassador at the Organization of American States (OAS), announced today that Washington had been working to drum up support against the May 20 presidential vote that saw Maduro elected president through 2025. According to Trujillo, he has secured enough votes not only to bring the matter of the election up for discussion at the OAS, but also to pass a resolution condemning the election as illegitimate.
Trujillo explained to reporters that 24 are needed to bring a topic to discussion on the floor of the OAS, and that 18 are needed to pass resolutions.
Trujillo also said that the goal of the measure at the OAS would be to eventually have Venezuela suspended from the regional organization over Maduro’s hard turn towards authoritarianism in recent years.
When asked exactly what the resolution that he expects passed will say, Trujillo did not provide any concrete details, but did say that it would
… talk about humanitarian matters, [and about] how no one will recognize the election as legitimate, and about the issue of suspension.
The resolution is expected to be on the floor of the OAS as early as tomorrow.
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