Thursday, September 24, 2020

Venezuela Opposition Passes Amnesty Bill

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After a fiery debate that took place on Tuesday opposition-controlled Venezuelan National Assembly decided to pass the amnesty bill which may possibly free dozens of jailed opposition leaders.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had stated that he would fight to stop the bill which he said would act in freeing “criminals and terrorists”. In December, the parliamentary elections were won by the opposition. The group promised to work on the release of the political prisoners.

There would be about 70 prisoners released if the law comes into play. Amongst them is Leopoldo Lopez, a prominent leader of the opposition who due to provoking violence during mass protests in was given a sentence of almost fourteen years.

The prosecutor in Lopez’s case fled Venezuela after the trail and spoke to media abroad saying that the trail had been a political show. The wife of Lopez, Liliana Tintori, said the passing of the bill was “felt in all of Venezuela, like a fireworks rocket going off in Caracas, full of emotion, freedom and strength”. She called it “a major step towards the rescue of democracy and liberty.”

President Maduro later spoke on national television saying that he would make sure the law would be vetoed and that he was certain it would not go into full effect. While the president is capable of the veto, the Venezuelan constitution states that the National Assembly can override the veto with a majority vote. The county is heavily divided between those who oppose and those who support President Maduro’s socialist government. The bill will face heated discussion as it makes its way though.

BBC