A group of relatives of political prisoners visited the United Nations’ Development Programme (UNDP) offices in Caracas today to call attention to the plight of their loved ones and request a meeting with UN officials.

The group included human rights activist Lilian Tintori, whose husband–Leopoldo Lopez–has been a political prisoner since 2014.

Lopez was the leader of the Voluntad Popular (VP) party when he was arrested, and a clear challenger to Maduro for the presidency. He was transferred to house arrest after serving a portion of his 14-year prison sentence at the Ramo Verde military prison. Lopez’s trial was universally decried as a sham by human rights organizations like the UNOHCHR, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.

Tintori told reporters gathered at the scene that her husband was tortured “many times” by the authorities while in detention. 

According to El Nacional, the unnamed relative of another political prisoner said that she hoped that the UN would look closely at each case, to determine whether or not there is any factual basis for the detentions.

The image below shows Tintori speaking to reporters outside of the UNDP office in Caracas earlier today:

The relatives’ visit to the UNDP office comes on the heels of the death of Fernando Alban, an opposition politician who died while in regime custody on Monday.

While the Maduro regime has issued contradictory statements claiming that Alban committed suicide, his friends, relatives and colleagues have emphatically denied that he would ever do so, and insist that Alban was killed by the authorities. 

Earlier today, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights condemning Alban’s death, and demanding a “prompt, exhaustive and impartial” investigation into his death. 

Oil Production Continue to Fall

OPEC’s September report shows that Venezuela pumped out 3.3% fewer barrels of oil from the month before, an average of 42,000 barrels per day. 

The oil cartel’s “secondary sources”–that is, sources other than the Venezuelan government–estimate that Venezuela pumped an average of 1.197 million barrels of oil per day in September

In contrast, the Venezuelan government’s own numbers claim that the country’s production average sat at 1.434 million barrels per day last month. 

Years of mismanagement, corruption and neglect at the state-owned PDVSA oil firm have incapacitated the once-thriving oil industry in the country. Save for the oil sector strike of 2002-2003, the country is currently posting the lowest oil production numbers in thirty years

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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