The White House on Wednesday condemned the death of an opposition politician in Venezuela and accused President Nicolas Maduro’s government of involvement in the death.
“The United States condemns the Maduro regime’s involvement in the death of Venezuelan opposition councilman, Fernando Alban,’’ it said in a statement.
The statement also called for the release of all political prisoners and for Maduro’s government to re-establish democracy in Venezuela and to prevent further suffering and bloodshed.
It added that President Donald Trump’s administration would continue to increase pressure over the issue.
Authorities in Caracas have said the municipal politician killed himself by jumping out of a window, while his Opposition First Justice Party said he was murdered.
According to Interior Minister, Nestor Reverol, Alban, 56, was jailed on Friday for alleged involvement in the explosion of two drones during an August military parade led by Maduro.
Venezuelan officials have given differing accounts of where he jumped and on Tuesday the UN Human Rights Office called for an independent investigation.
The White House noted that Alban died while in the custody of Venezuela’s intelligence service.
Maduro’s government has denied that it holds political prisoners and has said those who have been imprisoned sought to destabilise the government.