After more than four months, the deputy president of the Venezuelan parliament has been released from custody. "I should not have been detained at any time," Edgar Zambrano said after his release. "It was a difficult situation where the constitution did not apply for 135 days when I was behind bars - we were in captivity, practically like animals."
Zambrano was arrested in May for alleged involvement in the failed coup d'état of self-proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaidó. Zambrano was accused of treason, rebellion and conspiracy.
Government opponents refuse Guaidó for the first time the following
Attorney General Tarek William Saab justified his release with the new negotiations between the government of President Nicolás Maduro and a small group of renegade oppositionists. Some opposition MPs recently agreed to resume negotiations with the government. Guaidó, however, declared the talks failed. For the first time since the beginning of the power struggle, some of the opponents of the government have refused to obey the opposition leader Guaidó.
"The release of Zambrano and the political prisoners is a victory by the pressure of the citizens, not a nice gesture of dictatorship," wrote Guaidó on Twitter. Shortly before, the opposition-controlled National Assembly had confirmed Guaidó as parliamentary president and transitional chief of state.
Maduro and Guaidó have fought a bitter power struggle in the South American crisis state for months. Parliament President Guaidó himself declared himself Transitional President in January and is recognized by more than 50 states, including Germany and the United States.