A second group of Venezuelan opposition politicians and activists awaiting trial in connection with violent acts that killed nearly 200 people between 2014 and 2017 has been released by the government as part of the ongoing process of dialogue and national reconciliation.
The move was announced Saturday by Delcy Rodriguez, president of the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), at a meeting with guarantors and opposition representatives.
The meeting, held in the capital, Caracas, was attended by Copei leader Pedro Pablo Fernandez; Merida State Governor Ramon Guevara, and the governor of Anzoategui state, Antonio Barreto.
Addressing the opposition directly, Rodriguez said: "We need your express commitment and will to stay away from political violence, hatred and intolerance forever. The differences between Venezuelans must be resolved through peaceful, democratic and constitutional means."
Rodriguez, head of Venezuela's Commission for Truth, Justice and Peace, urged the opposition not to follow the scripts promoted by foreign powers and recommence acts of political violence.
The names of those being released were not made public during the meeting, although it is believed 40 additional prisoners are being freed on Saturday under the agreement. On Friday, 39 were released, among them a former army general, 61-year-old Angel Vivas.
Rodriguez called on the beneficiaries to value the gesture being made by recently re-elected President Nicolas Maduro: "Today they go out to meet their families, friends and colleagues. Carry this message: they must prioritize the interest in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela... and not lend themselves to a foreign script."
The benefits for those released range from full liberty to house arrest, measures which were granted by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ).