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US gov't asks Venezuelan president to restore democracy

In a press release, the US Department of State expressed its “dismay” not only because of political prisoners, but also about other actions taken by the Venezuelan government

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20 de febrero de 2017 09:11 AM

Actualizado el 21 de febrero de 2017 12:14 PM

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US gov't asks Venezuelan president to restore democracy

United States called on Saturday upon the Venezuelan government “for the immediate release of all prisoners of conscience, respect for the rule of law, the freedom of the press, the separation of constitutional powers within the government, and the restoration of a democratic process that reflects the will of the Venezuelan people.”

“The Venezuelan government continues to arrest and imprison citizens from across Venezuelan society for their political beliefs. Currently, more than 100 such individuals are in prison,” including Leopoldo López, “who will complete his third year in prison on February 18,” specified the press statement issued by Mark C. Toner, Deputy Department Spokesperson.

“The United States reiterates its dismay and concern about these arrests, and other actions taken by the Venezuelan government to criminalize dissent and deny its citizens the benefits of democracy,” they added.

Last Wednesday, US President Donald Trump requested already the release of López after a meeting with the dissenter’s wife, Lilian Tintori, at the White House. A couple of days earlier, Trump’s administration imposed economic sanctions on Venezuelan Vice-President
Tareck El Aissami, for alleged drug trafficking.

In addition to López, the statement lists some “political prisoners,” such as former Mayor Daniel Ceballos, and “many other students, activists, journalists, and peaceful protestors.”

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