– I am very concerned about the situation in Venezuela after the arrest of Mayor Ledezma. It is important that the Venezuelan government now provides a quick and impartial judicial process for all those arrested dissidents in line with the rule of law, said Børge Brende.
In 2014, Venezuelan authorities arrested several opposition leaders and students who participated in the protests, and some of these are still imprisoned. Last week, authorities arrested opposition leader Antonio Ledezma, who is mayor of Caracas.
– We encourage the government to enter into dialogue with opposition parties and civil society in Venezuela to resolve the difficult situation of the country. Freedom of expression and freedom of assembly must be respected. We welcome UNASUR (Unión de Naciones Suramericana) initiative to contribute to a solution, says Brende.