Human rights organizations increasingly concerned over abuses

Human Rights Watch’s Americas Division Executive Director, Jose Miguel Vivanco says“The problem in Venezuela… is rooted in government repression aimed at crushing the same opposition it claims to be engaging in dialogue with.” He urges Argentina in particular to continue pressuring Maduro for a recall referendum, release of political prisoners, end abuses.

Amnesty International calls the decision to uphold the 14-year prison sentence of opposition leader and figurehead Leopoldo Lopez, “yet another stain on the country’s crumbling human rights record.” Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, says her husband received a death threat from a prison guard.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan national journalists' union (SNTP) said two reporters had been taken to military intelligence headquarters and held for four hours, accused of recording in a “presidential corridor.” 

Worryingly, Diosdado Cabello, a top official in Maduro’s Socialist Party and a lawmaker, said at a rally that a list of those who signed a petition seeking to recall Maduro will be handed over to government ministries and state-run companies.