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Maduro announces return of UN rights office to Venezuela

Maduro announces return of UN rights office to Venezuela

International Desk

President Nicolas Maduro announced Tuesday that a United Nations human rights office would begin operating in Venezuela once again, after it was suspended and its staff ordered to leave in February.

Maduro is under fire at home and abroad over his leftist government's human rights record as he cracks down on dissent while seeking a third term in power.

He has in particular drawn criticism for preventing a widely popular opposition leader from running against him in July elections he had pledged would be free and fair.

Maduro made the announcement Tuesday alongside Karim Khan, head of the International Criminal Court, who is investigating Venezuela for possible crimes against humanity.

"I have received the proposal to once again invite the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, to be in our country, in Venezuela," Maduro said, standing next to Khan at the presidential palace in Caracas.

"I agree. Let's overcome our differences, the conflict that we had," he added.

"I am ready to receive the envoy Volker Turk."

Khan praised the move, saying he was grateful to Maduro for committing to his.

The order for the UN agency to leave Venezuela within 72 hours came in February, two days after authorities detained prominent activist Rocio San Miguel, which sparked an international outcry.

The agency had expressed "deep concern" on X, formerly Twitter, over the detention of the rights activist and called for her immediate release.

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