08:31 GMT +309 December 2019
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    Trump Calls on Maduro to Immediately Release Political Prisoners

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    Donald Trump called on Nicolas Maduro to release the political opposition prisoners Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma without any conditions immediately.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US President Donald Trump called on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to release the political opposition prisoners Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma without any conditions immediately, the White House said in a press release.

    "The United States holds Maduro — who publicly announced just hours earlier that he would move against his political opposition — personally responsible for the health and safety of Mr. Lopez, Mr. Ledezma, and any others seized. We reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners," Trump said on Tuesday.

    Lopez and Ledezma were arrested for violating the terms of their house arrest, local media reported, citing Venezuela's Supreme Court.

    Both politicians were seized after Venezuela's intelligence agency determined that they had been planning their escape, El National newspaper reported.

    Ledezma, a former mayor of Caracas, was arrested in 2015 and spend four months in prison before being placed on house arrest. Lopez was detained three years ago after protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro government and sentenced to more than a decade in prison. He was transferred to house arrest in July after spending three years in prison.

    On Sunday, Venezuela held the election to select members of the Constituent Assembly, which would be charged with rewriting the country's constitution. The voting results were not recognized by the opposition who said that the decision to convene the assembly should be made via referendum.


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