On August 31, the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela announced it would conditionally pardon 110 people, including some political prisoners. Of these, 50 were in jail, 37 were being investigated and 23 had already been conditionally released. Prior to the release, the illegitimate regime held 386 political prisoners.
According to Foro Penal, now 333 Venezuelans are incarcerated for no valid reason, other than their opposition to an illegitimate regime headed by an illegitimate president.
“These dismissals of charges are conditional, with officials threatening to rescind the benefit if any individuals “return to any act of terrorism, violence, or coup-mongering,” as arbitrarily determined by the regime,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a written statement.
“Most exiled Venezuelan democratic political leaders will not be able to return, because they know they could be jailed instantly; there are zero guarantees for their safety. Charges against Deputy Juan Requesens were not dismissed, and he remains under house arrest. On the same day that Requesens was released, the mother of National Assembly Deputy Armando Armas was arbitrarily detained, reminding us that the regime maintains a revolving door of incarceration and intimidation to extort participation in Maduro’s December 6 electoral farce,” wrote Secretary of State Pompeo.
The so-called “amnesty” is a political ploy to legitimize Venezuela’s December 6th national elections. All 167 seats of the National Assembly are in play, including that of Maduro’s political rival Juan Guaidó, who has been interim President in his constitutional capacity as president of The National Assembly since January of last year. Maduro also unconstitutionally increased the total number of seats by 110 in order to secure a phony majority at any cost.
“Conditions for free and fair elections do not exist in Venezuela and the release of a number of political prisoners does not change that. None of the political parties whose leadership was removed and their names, symbols, and assets stolen by the regime have been restored…Many political opponents of the regime are still prohibited from running for office and remain without political rights,” said Secretary of State Pompeo.
“We urge all democratic actors, both within and outside of Venezuela, to continue to insist on the necessary, internationally accepted conditions for free and fair elections. We, and our democratic partners in Venezuela and the international community, will not contribute to legitimizing yet another electoral fraud carried out by the Maduro regime. Venezuelan citizens deserve our continuing solidarity in their struggle to restore democracy to their country.”