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The United Nations demanded this Wednesday an “independent investigation” into the death in custody of the Venezuelan general Raul Baduel, the general who helped Hugo Chavez To return to power after a coup, he was Minister of Defense and ended up as a political prisoner.

“We deeply regret the death in detention of Raul Baduel. We call Venezuela that guarantees an independent investigation “the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Michelle Bachelet, wrote on Twitter.

SIGHT: Raúl Baduel, the general who helped Hugo Chávez return to power and ended up as a political prisoner, dies of COVID-19

The UN also called for “medical care for all detainees” and “that alternative measures to detention be considered and those in arbitrary detention be released.”

Venezuela’s attorney general, Tarek Saab, announced the death on Tuesday, stating that the general died of complications from covid-19 after receiving medical treatment and receiving the first dose of the vaccine.

However, relatives of Baduel, who claim they found out with the announcement on networks, deny that the general had the virus.

“The regime murdered my beloved and brave dad @RaulBaduel”the daughter, Andreína Baduel, wrote on Twitter. “We recently had the faith of life from him, IT IS FALSE that he had COVID-19.”

Being commander of a base in Maracay (200 km west of Caracas), Baduel helped restore Chávez after the April 2002 coup which briefly removed him from power. In 2004 he was appointed Commander General of the Army and, in 2006, Minister of Defense.

He went into retirement in 2007, the year in which he became an opponent of Chavismo when he demonstrated against a reform to the Constitution promoted by Chávez.

In 2009 he was arrested on corruption charges and served a sentence of almost eight years. After being released in 2015, he was again incarcerated in 2017 accused of conspiracy against the current president Nicolás Maduro, who dismissed him from the Armed Forces and demoted him.

“Political purposes”

The Venezuelan government condemned the declaration of the HIM-HER-IT in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which he does not once mention the name of Baduel.

“There are no arbitrarily detained people in the country. Each and every one of the persons deprived of liberty is subject to criminal proceedings conducted by the organs of the justice system, with all the guarantees “, indicated the text, in which it was ensured that “all private persons are guaranteed the enjoyment of their human rights, including the right to adequate medical care.”

Venezuela regrets that the OHCHR systematically yields to pressure from those sectors that intend to continue using the issue of human rights for political purposes, while making invisible the structural reforms adopted by the Venezuelan State to strengthen the rights of persons deprived of liberty.

Two of the sons of Baduel They have also been arrested under allegations of conspiracy, the first of them Raúl Emilio, who is now at large. Josnars Adolfo Baduel was arrested for his alleged participation in a maritime incursion in May 2020 known as “Operation Gideon” that sought the departure of Maduro. He is still under arrest.

With the death of Baduel, “there are now 10 political prisoners who have died in custody” since 2015, according to lawyer Gonzalo Himiob, of the NGO Foro Penal dedicated to defending political prisoners.

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