Venezuela: Activists’ convictions, court moves alarm advocates as elections loom

Source: Reuters

“Before they were arrested and sentenced to 16 years in prison on conspiracy charges, the six Venezuelan activists marched peacefully to call for better salaries for teachers, according to their families and lawyers. Some had taken part in non-violent protests for years, despite long-running and internationally-condemned efforts by President Nicolas Maduro’s government to tamp down dissent in the country, which is under U.S. sanctions and grappling with an economic and social crisis. The August conviction of the men – who deny prosecutors’ accusation they planned to assault a military weapons site and attack an event traditionally attended by Maduro — is among several recent legal moves seen by opponents and civil rights groups as a specific effort to scare potential activists as the opposition prepares for a presidential contest next year.” (09/07/23)