CARACAS – Venezuelan political prisoners released for Christmas were scheduled to appear this Tuesday in the courts handling their cases, in order to find out under what conditions they will live after being freed, attorneys of some of the over 40 people liberated from prison told EFE.
One of those set free who will appear in court is the Spanish-Venezuelan Andrea Gonzalez, one of those honored with the European Union’s Sakharov Prize.
Gonzalez was arrested in August 2014 after being implicated by a confessed killer of a suspected plot to murder the daughter of Chavista leader Diosdado Cabello, and has been held ever since at the Caracas headquarters of the Sebin intelligence service.
Going to court with her will be her friend Betty Grossi, jailed for the same reason, as their attorney Joel Garcia told EFE.
Another of those defended by Garcia, the engineer Juan Miguel de Sousa – imprisoned since January 2015 on charges of “association to commit crime” and “terrorism” – will also appear in court to hear under what conditions he will be allowed to continue his life outside of prison.
From what EFE learned from other attorneys, their clients will appear in court to discover what measures constitute their sentences in place of imprisonment.
Former opposition Mayor Alfredo Ramos, 62, was arrested last July for not removing from the streets of Iribarren municipality the barricades erected during the anti-government protests this year.
The Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) has already ordered him to appear every 30 days before a Barquisimeto court.
The release of these inmates, considered political prisoners by the US, the European Union and human rights organizations, comes during the dialogue between members of the government and the opposition, who will meet again on Jan. 11 in the Dominican Republic.
The liberation of all political prisoners is one of the requests of the opposition, as is the restoration of powers to the National Assembly legislature, of which it holds the majority.
The ruling party, meanwhile, demands the acceptance of the National Constituent Assembly, a plenipotentiary body made up solely of ruling party members and not recognized by the opposition or several countries.
According to human rights groups, dozens of prisoners remain behind bars in Venezuela for political reasons.