A Caracas court ordered the release of the first vice president of the National Assembly of Venezuela, Edgar Zambrano, after having been detained for four months in a military barracks, but the court keeps the legislator from banning the country from leaving.
Edgar Zambrano, first vice president of the National Assembly of Venezuela. / Via REUTERS
Reuters | Mayela Armas, Luc Cohen y Corina Pons
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Leer en español: Excarcelan a vicepresidente del Congreso de Venezuela
Zambrano was accused of treason when he was arrested in May by intelligence service officials, days after an opposition mobilization calling on the military to rebel against the mandate of President Nicolás Maduro.
His surprise release from prison comes a few hours after the government agreed to initiate a dialogue with a minority of opposition parties, parallel to conversations that until a few weeks ago he held under the auspices of Norway with the coalition that adversely adheres to him and leads the head of the Parliament, Juan Guaidó.
"You have to make a significant effort to produce the release of all political prisoners and avoid abuse of power," Zambrano said shortly after arriving at his home in the evening when he was allowed to leave the military unit of Fuerte Tiuna, where he was held 129 days. "The first 60 days we did not leave the cell. There we were, practically in captivity, like animals, without speaking, without being able to read, without any element that protected the dignity of our human rights," said the deputy on the days in a jail where he even went on a hunger strike for just over a week.
The deputy briefly shared in the hall with two dissident generals from the Chavez and Maduro government, Raúl Baduel and Miguel Rodríguez, who are still in that prison along with another person who does not know his name.
In addition to Zambrano, another 12 parliamentarians in May and June were indicted by the conspiracy courts and some left the country or are sheltered in embassies.
"The liberation of Zambrano and the political prisoners is a victory of the citizen, international pressure and Bachelet report, not a" courtesy "of the dictatorship," Guaidó wrote on his Twitter account, who proclaimed himself president in charge arguing that Maduro was re-elected in fraudulent elections in May 2018.
A statement from the court indicates that the opposition deputy is prohibited from leaving the country and must appear before the courts every 30 days. The leader promised that he will return to Parliament next week and will start hiking around the country on Saturday to pray and demand the exit of other politicians from prisons.
In the liberation of Zambrano were Francisco Torrealba, a member of the official Constituent Assembly, and the deputy, Timoteo Zambrano, both participants of the national agreement table promoted by the government on Monday.
In a first document of this dialogue initiative, the parties agreed to make a "call" to the judicial system for the release of some prisoners and raised the return of the official legislators to the National Assembly, of an opposition majority, after two years of absence.
Zambrano avoided in his first meeting with journalists to comment on this initiative for debate between the government and some small political parties.
"The political desideratum of the country must be the product of politics and not of violence," he added before calling to resolve the conflict with elections in equality and equity. "A democracy cannot have political prisoners," he added.