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    Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country's rightful interim ruler, talks to Edgar Zambrano, the assembly vice president, in a session of the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela March 6, 2019. Picture taken March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

    Venezuelan Gov Releases Held Lawmaker Zambrano in Interim Agreement with Opposition

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    Edgar Zambrano, the deputy speaker of the Venezuelan opposition-controlled National Assembly, has been released four months after being detained, according to Reuters, citing Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and an opposition lawmaker.

    In a statement Tuesday, the Commission for Truth, Peace and Public Tranquility under the National Constituent Assembly announced that that the country's judicial system had released Zambrano, urging all political parties in Venezuela to continue to participate in cooperative dialogue to maintain peace in the country.

    "The Commission for Truth, Justice, Peace and Public Tranquility proposed by President Nicolas Maduro Moros and created by the National Constituent Assembly, informs society in general that, according to the partial agreements reached by the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and sectors of the national opposition, in order to to achieve citizen coexistence: I agree to exhort the Judicial System today to grant precautionary measures replacing custodians in favor of the citizen Edgar Jose Zambrano Ramirez," the official statement reads.

    "In this sense, we inform the national and international community that the said petition has been made effective, thus initiating a review process in each of the cases before this institution that safeguards justice and human rights. Finally, the commission calls all the political and social factions of Venezuela to continue traveling along the path of dialogue, mutual understanding and coexistence in order to preserve the invaluable peace of the Republic," the statement continues.

    In a Facebook post Tuesday, the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice wrote: "The court ... ruled to immediately release Edgar Zambrano, who is under criminal proceedings over the alleged egregious crimes threatening the Venezuelan state," Sputnik reported.

    Reuters, which first reported the news, was notified of Zambrano's release after receiving a photo of Zambrano with his family Tuesday from Francisco Torrealba, a member of the Venezuelan Constituent Assembly. Timoteo Zambrano, who is not related to Edgar, also shared a video on Twitter Tuesday of Edgar speaking outside the military base where he had been detained. 

    “The process of freeing political prisoners has begun,” Timoteo Zambrano wrote on Twitter in Spanish. “We celebrate the freedom of our colleague, the deputy Edgar Zambrano.”

    ​Edgar Zambrano was arrested on treason charges after self-proclaimed interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaido's failed coup attempt in May to topple the Maduro government.

    The move comes after Maduro's United Socialist Party resumed talks with other political factions in the country Monday. The minority parties include Progressive Vanguard, the Movement for Socialism and Let's Change. Talks between Maduro and Guaido ended without agreement this weekend.

    Maduro on Tuesday also stopped negotiations with the opposition after Washington froze all financial assets the Venezuelan government was using to support its operations at the United Nations, Sputnik reported. Last month, US President Donald Trump also signed an executive order to block the property of Venezuela’s government that is under US jurisdiction, including the assets of the country’s central bank and the PDVSA state-owned oil company.

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    Edgar Zambrano, Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
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