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A Conciliatory Gesture in Venezuela: Five Opposition Detainees are Freed from Jail

The government of  Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has freed five opposition detainees from jail, just hours after the conclusion of a first-round of talks between the regime and the opposition, aimed at diffusing political, social and economic tensions, in the South American nation.

Mediated by the Vatican and former presidents of Spain, Panama and the Dominican Republic, the talks between the Maduro government and the Venezuelan opposition, were extended into the wee hours on Monday. 

Fifteen opposition groups had insisted that political detainees be released as a sign of goodwill. Today, the detainees freed were: Carlos Melo, of the Progressive Advance Party; Andres Moreno and Marco Trejo, opposition political advisers; Andres Leon, a student leader; and Angel Coromoto Rodriguez, who was the security chief for the National Assembly leader. 

The Maduro government freed the five as the opposition demanded tangible "signs of goodwill", the BBC-News reported, or the government could have risked a walk-out by the opposition on the much needed talks. Maduro hopes talks could extend his political life in the nation of stunning natural beauty.

The next talks scheduled between the government and the opposition are for November 11. Meanwhile, the opposition still has plans to hold a protest rally in the country on November 3 to protest the halting of a recall referendum by electoral officials.