August 17, 2018 / 3:34 PM / a month ago

U.S. urges restraint, independent probe into Aug. 4 Venezuela explosions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday said it supported the creation of an independent commission to investigate explosions in Caracas during a speech by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro earlier this month, criticizing his government’s response as arbitrary.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a meeting with ministers at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela August 13, 2018. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS

“The United States condemns the political violence that occurred on Aug. 4, and urges the Maduro regime to respect the rule of law, exercise restraint, and safeguard the presumption of innocence for all accused,” the U.S. State Department said.

“The Venezuelan government’s response to this incident has been to arbitrarily detain some individuals and a failure to follow due process,” it added.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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