Maduro criticizes United Nations human rights report in scathing letter

Maduro criticizes United Nations human rights report in scathing letter

Earlier in the month, a report issued by United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet accused the Venezuela government of using a strategy of instilling fear in its population to retain power and removing opponents with a "shocking" number of alleged extrajudicial killings.

The men were detained for reportedly planning to sell four guns that are allegedly state property and were used during Guaido's failed coup in late April. It accuses Bachelet of conducting the vast majority of fact-finding interviews outside of Venezuela, and emphasizes the role of United States economic sanctions in its humanitarian crisis.

"They meant to sell the weapons that they had stolen from the arsenal of National Bolivarian Armed Forces and used it to attempt a coup on April 30", Rodriguez said at a press conference.

In a Tweet, Guaido accused the Maduro government of being behind the arrests and said that government authorities had planted weapons on the men in order to frame them.

Last week, the two sides held several days of talks and more negotiations are planned. The opposition said it hopes the discussions mediated by Norway will lead to Maduro stepping down and fresh elections.

Syriza also said the decision "reveals ignorance of processes, as there is no common European Union position recognising Juan Guaido as interim president", and urged the government to continue to support Mogherini's statements, the Oslo talks and European Union initiatives through the International Contact Group - as the government's statement said it did - "without sacrificing its role as pillar of peace and stability".

More than 4 million Venezuelans have fled to neighboring countries as the crisis has grown.

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