Venezuelan President Pardoned More than 100 Lawmakers and Associates of Opposition Leader

Roberto Marrero, the chief of staff to Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, has been released from prison in Caracas hours after the government announced President Nicolas Maduro pardoned more than 100 opposition politicians. Venezuelan Communication Minister Jorge Rodriguez said the government’s intention is to deepen the process of national reconciliation so that political issues are settled by peaceful and electoral means. Guaido, the self-declared acting president, and leading opposition figures have vowed to boycott the election, fearing a lack of transparency.Opposition leader Juan Guaido waves to supporters during a rally at Bolivar Plaza in Chacao, Venezuela, Feb. 11, 2020.The head of Venezuela’s oldest party, Henry Ramos Allup of the Democratic Action party, is among those pardoned, as well as individuals with outstanding court cases and exiled opposition lawmakers. The pardons also follow the release from house arrest of lawmaker Juan Requesens, who was jailed for two years and accused of participating in a failed attack on President Maduro with two drones that exploded during an outdoor military ceremony. It is unclear if the pardons will impact Guaidó’s ongoing effort to remove Maduro from power. 

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