Jailed lawmakers Gilber Caro and Renzo Prieto rejoined the opposition-controlled Venezuelan Congress Tuesday after the Nicolas Maduro government ordered their release as part of a reconciliation plan.
Prieto and Caro, who were two of the three lawmakers set free over the weekend, arrived at the legislature in downtown Caracas accompanied by several others of their freed colleagues, including former San Cristobal Mayor Daniel Ceballos and Raul Emilio Baduel, son of Raul Isaias Baduel, who served as defense minister under late President Hugo Chavez.
The two were welcomed with applause by opposition lawmakers to a session where a debate was scheduled on the situation of political prisoners in Venezuela, who according to government critics number more than 400.
As they took their places in Congress, Caro took down a banner that had been hanging for months in the congressional chamber, and on which were counted the days he was held prisoner, while Prieto was sworn-in to his position, since he was imprisoned before he was elected.
The third of the released lawmakers, Wilmer Azuaje, is a regional legislator from the western state of Barinas.
Azuaje was arrested for "illicit possession of weapons of war," "illicit munitions trafficking" and the "wrongful wearing of a military uniform."
Gilber Caro was arrested on Jan. 11, 2017, by agents of the Sebin intelligence service, allegedly in possession of a weapon, explosives, and other military materiel.
Prieto had been arrested in 2014 accused of the violence that occurred in anti-government protests in February of that year.