El Nacional is reporting today that the government of Norway has sent a diplomatic delegation to Venezuela in an attempt to bring back to life stalled negotiations that it was brokering between the opposition and the Maduro regime since at least May of this year. The talks came to an abrupt end last week when Maduro announced that he was walking away from the negotiating table, after accusing the opposition of playing a role in the imposition of sanctions against his government by the United States.

The newspaper is reporting that “two sources” have revealed that the Norwegian team is speaking to the two sides separately for the time being.

Last week, National Assembly vice president Stalin Gonzalez–who was part of the opposition delegation at the negotiations–said that the real reason why the Maduro regime walked away from the talks is because it was “afraid of change” that could come if it accepted a deal that was in the late stages of development.

Human Rights Lawyer Outlines Abuse, Poor Health of Political Prisoners

Human rights lawyer Tamara Suju wrote a twitter thread this morning calling attention to the plight of Venezuela’s political prisoners, 80% of whom she claims are in poor health due to the conditions in which they are being held.

According to Suju, a majority of political prisoners in regime jails are suffering from circulatory and respiratory conditions given the “inhumane situation” in which they are kept in detention, as well as the torture to which they’re being submitted.

In the thread, Suju also claimed:

Family visits… are being recorded [by the regime] because they want to claim that what we’re denouncing [the poor conditions and torture] isn’t true by showing these images [of the visits].

Suju also claimed that in the Boletia prison, political prisoners are kept “inside tiny cells” for 24 hours a day “without seeing natural light or air”.

According to the Foro Penal Venezolano (Venezuelan Penal Forum, FPV), there were 528 political prisoners in regime jails as of August 12:

National Assembly Releases Report on Deputies Persecuted by Regime

The National Assembly released a report today of opposition deputies who have been victims of regime persecution since they were sworn in as legislators in 2016. The report, which was compiled by the National Assembly’s Truth and Peace Committee, includes instances of the following abuses by Maduro regime officials against legislators:

  • Torture
  • Assault
  • Due process violations
  • Threats
  • Arbitrary arrest
  • Violation of diplomatic immunity

The report also includes details on individual causes of regime persecution against legislators. For example, the report documents the fact that deputy Gaby Arellano was forced to flee the country after the regime issued an arrest warrant for her despite the fact that as a legislator she was legally entitled to diplomatic immunity. According to Venezuelan law, a legislator must first be stripped of their diplomatic immunity in an impeachment vote before an arrest warrant can be issued for them.

The list of the 123 legislators can be found here.

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

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