BY MANUEL RUEDA
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos refused to criticize human rights abuses in Venezuela and told Fusion in a recent interview that he would rather not give his opinions on the country’s political crisis “in public.”
Santos said that Colombia is currently one of four countries observing talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition, and he fears that any public statements on Venezuela’s political crisis, even on something like human rights, could hamper the negotiations.
“The opposition asks me almost every day. Please don’t provoke the Venezuelan regime,” Santos said.
More than 2,000 protesters have been arrested in Venezuela since demonstrations against the government broke out on February 12, according to an Amnesty International report published in the first week of April.
Leopoldo Lopez, a well-known opposition leader who has backed anti-government protests, is facing conspiracy charges that could land him up to 14 years in prison.