The U.S. State Department on Thursday called for an independent examination to determine the true cause of death of former Venezuelan defense minister and retired general Raul Baduel, considered a political prisoner by the opposition.
Oct 14, 2021
Venezuela’s attorney general said on Tuesday Baduel had died of cardio-respiratory failure connected with COVID-19.
“The recent death of Venezuelan political prisoner Raul Baduel reminds the world of the deplorable and dangerous conditions Venezuelan political prisoners face in the Maduro regime’s custody,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
The United Nations Human Rights office has also called for Venezuela to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into Baduel’s death and share the results with his family.
Neither the State Department nor the U.N. elaborated on why they believe an investigation is necessary into the cause of death.
Baduel’s family has made statements casting doubt on the COVID-19 diagnosis, citing that he had received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. Vaccines reduce the likelihood of but do not prevent death from COVID-19.
Venezuela’s communications ministry and the attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Attorney General Tarek Saab said on Tuesday the ex-minister had been given all necessary medical care.
Read More: Reuters – U.S. calls for examination into cause of jailed former Venezuelan minister’s death