Published: Wed, July 03, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

U.S. Accuses Venezuelan Regime Of Torturing, Murdering Military Officer

U.S. Accuses Venezuelan Regime Of Torturing, Murdering Military Officer

"They tortured him so much that they killed him", Perez said in an interview with EVTV Miami that was broadcast over Instagram.

Washington blamed Maduro for the death of Rafael Acosta Arevalo, which came amid a standoff between Venezuela's opposition chief Juan Guaido and the president that's stretched for more than five months.

The officer "died while in the custody of Maduro's thugs and their Cuban advisers", the Department of State said in a statement. Her comments were echoed in a statement by Guaido's office calling for an "independent worldwide forensics team" to investigate the death.

A defense ministry statement on Sunday said Acosta fainted at the start of the tribunal hearing and was transferred to a military hospital, without offering any further details.

Arévalo had been brought to court on Friday to stand trial for being part of an alleged plot to assassinate Maduro.

The wife of a Venezuelan navy captain who died after being detained on conspiracy accusations said on Monday the United Nations should investigate the cause of his death, amid widespread accusations he was tortured to death.

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Perez demanded that the government hand over Acosta's body and called for an independent U.N. investigation into the incident, which has been condemned by the United States as well as the Lima Group of Latin American nations.

Ms Bachelet, a former Chilean president, visited Caracas last week and called for the "release" of imprisoned political opponents in the country, which NGO Foro Penal says number close to 800.

According to his lawyer, the naval officer appeared in court in a wheelchair, unable to speak and showing signs of having been tortured, a statement from the UN Commissioner for Human Rights said.

Critics accuse Maduro's administration of arbitrary detentions and the systematic use of torture against dissidents and military officers accused of conspiring against his government.

The death of Acosta comes amid heightened tensions between Maduro's government and the opposition following two rounds of unsuccessful talks held in Norway.

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