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Amnesty sought for 125 Venezuelans jailed, exiled

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 28, 2012 at 5:57 p.m.

— Venezuelan opposition leaders are asking President Hugo Chavez’s government to consider amnesty for 125 people in prison or exile.

Lawmaker Edgar Zambrano says he submitted case files Friday on 80 people in exile and 45 others listed as “political prisoners” to the office of Vice President Nicolas Maduro. A swift response seems unlikely since Chavez is recovering from cancer surgery in Cuba.

Among those on the list is Pedro Carmona, a business leader who temporarily took over the presidency during a failed coup against Chavez in 2002. He fled to Colombia and received asylum there.

Another is Maria Lourdes Afiuni, a judge under house arrest for freeing a banker from prison while he was awaiting trial on charges of flouting currency exchange controls.

The government denies Venezuela has political prisoners.

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