The head of the Truth Commission of Venezuela's National Constituent Assembly (ANC), Delcy Rodriguez, announced Saturday the release of 40 inmates convicted for political violence in recent years, including three lawmakers.
"I especially thank the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Justice (Maikel Moreno) and the attorney general (Tarek Saab) who make it possible to effectively carry out these measures requested by the president," Nicolas Maduro, several days ago in search of "peace and dialogue," Rodriguez said, without giving details about what those measures might be.
The leader of the opposition Copei party, Pedro Pablo Fernandez, posted on Twitter that the measures affect a "total of 40" people including lawmakers Gilber Caro and Renzo Prieto of the Voluntad Poular (VP) party, and Wilmer Azuaje of Primero Justicia (PJ).
Rodriguez, who was was accompanied at the meeting with the freed prisoners by, among others, Saab, Fernandez and .the governor of Anzoategui state, opposition member Antonio Barreto Sira, added that in this "important step" they have to ask for a "commitment."
"A commitment to leave behind you forever political violence and intolerance," since, she said, "the only way forward is through competition that is political, peaceful and democratic."
"You leave here today to return to your families and friends, and we want you to carry this message with you. It's a message we have to generalize," she said.
Among the best known of those affected was Raul Emilio Baduel, son of Gen Isaias Baduel, who was defense minister under Hugo Chavez and then joined the opposition. The son is considered by the opposition to be a "political prisoner" like the three lawmakers.
These prisoners being released are added to the 39 announced on Friday as part of Maduro's search for political dialogue with the opposition and anew era of peace, as he beings is next term as president which will continue until 2025, after winning the questionable election on May 20..
However, the Venezuelan NGO Penal Forum, which led the defense of the "political prisoners," said shortly afterwards that 16 of the 39 released were not opposition members as first reported.
This organization says there are more than 350 political prisoners waiting to discover their status under the measures applied on Friday.