Venezuelan authorities have released Army Major General and former Venezuelan Foreign Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres after nearly five years in prison on charges of inciting a rebellion.

The release of Rodríguez Torres, who between 2010 and 2014 was director general of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN, intelligence services) took place on Saturday, the day he was expelled from the country to Spain, according to the local press.

Meanwhile, the release was confirmed by the family of the former Venezuelan soldier, who issued a statement thanking God for his release, the former leader of the Government of Spain, José Luís Zapatero, the President of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and to several politicians from the Government of Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition, as well as to journalists from the United States and the Catholic and Evangelical Churches.

On the other hand, in a video released on the Internet, the former director of Venezuelan information services and a chavismo dissident, says he left “with a lot of pain” because he loved his land and that he will continue “to work and to fight”, at the same time called for “pardon and national reconciliation as a solution to the country’s problems”.

The release of Miguel Rodríguez Torres provoked reactions of support from users of social networks, but also condemnation from Venezuelans who accuse him of having a past linked to repression.

In a statement, the Movement for Democracy (MPD), created by the former minister, applauded the release, condemning, however, that he had been expelled to Spain and calling for the release of political prisoners in the country.

“We regret that Miguel, being innocent of the charges, has suffered and paid a five-year sentence [de detenção] without a trial that would justify his arrest, who has been publicly slandered without being able to defend himself (…) and who must be exiled as a condition to have some peace and freedom, necessary to recover his health”, explains the statement from MPD.

The former Venezuelan minister appears in the report of the Mission to Determine the Facts on Venezuela on “Crimes that harm Humanity”, committed by SEBIN.

The report states that Miguel Rodríguez Torres was responsible for the security of information services for Hugo Chávez (presided Venezuela between 1999 and 2013) and Nicolás Maduro, being allegedly involved in arbitrary arrests, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against dissent, among others. crimes.

He was denounced for having created the “La Tumba” prison, among other SEBIN “torture centers”.

Miguel Rodríguez Torres was arrested on March 13, 2018, during a political event at the Hotel President, by Sebin officials. The Venezuelan Government announced that it was involved in “actions against peace and public tranquility, conspiracies and ‘plots’” against the Venezuelan Armed Forces and planned “armed acts and conspiracies” against the Constitution.

He was also accused of ties to US intelligence services, in particular the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

On February 4, 1992, he participated in a failed coup attempt led by Hugo Chávez against the then President of Venezuela, Carlos Andrés Pérez.

In 2014, he was Minister of the Interior and Justice of Venezuela, when 43 people died during opposition demonstrations that were heavily repressed in the country.

In 2015, he distanced himself from the regime, becoming part of the “dissident chavismo”, after which he created the Movement for Democracy.

In 2018, the Comptroller General of the Republic ordered that he be legally prevented from holding public office.

He was arrested on March 13, 2018 and later transferred to a maximum security prison in Fort Tiuna, the main military base in Caracas.

On June 11, 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted him precautionary measures because his health was at risk and he was not receiving adequate medical attention.

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