Edgar Zambrano, member of the Venezuelan National Assembly and right-hand man of the self-appointed interim president Juan Guaidó, was released on Tuesday. He was put in jail four months ago because he was involved in a coup that had to overthrow seated President Nicolás Maduro. His release follows a remarkable deal that Maduro has concluded with some opposition parties.
Political immunity was taken away from Zambrano at the end of April when Guaidó tried to provoke a military uprising that failed. Almost immediately, Zambrano was arrested.
Maduro made an important hit on Monday. Four smaller opposition parties, which are critical of Maduro but are not part of the Guaidó coalition, announced that they will still sit down with Maduro without Guaidó's participation.
These conversations seemed to have broken down after six weeks this weekend. Guaidó pulled the plug because, according to him, "this way the political crisis will not be resolved".
Now, for the first time since the political unrest in the country began at the beginning of this year, there seems to be a division in the opposition camp.
Agreement between four opposition parties and Maduro
An agreement was signed on the Venezuelan national television to continue negotiations. According to Maduro, "anyone who wants to settle the disputes and work towards peace" may join. The incumbent president also promised to release a number of political prisoners, after which, among other things, Zambrano was released.
Moreover, new parliamentary elections should follow in the short term, but no details have yet been announced. Guaidó calls the four parties "a minority factor" in parliament and sees the deal as a "diversionary maneuver".
The self-proclaimed interim president was discredited earlier in September, after Venezuelan justice accused him of "high treason." Guaidó would like to sell the oil-rich area of Esequibo to American multinationals. A criminal investigation has been initiated.
See also: Venezuelan justice establishes criminal investigation into Guaidó
Months of unrest in Venezuela due to political conflict
In Venezuela it has been troubled for almost the entire year by the conflict between the Maduro government and Guaidó. The opposition leader sworn in January as interim president of the South American country, partly because Maduro put his most important opponents offside in the last presidential election. The opposition called those elections "illegal."
There is also dissatisfaction with Maduro's rule, which has been characterized for years by a severe economic crisis and hyperinflation. As a result, daily necessities have become prohibitive for many residents.
- Want to know what you missed at night? And an update on the most important news around lunch? Subscribe now to our daily newsletter!