Caracas, September 19, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s Supreme Court (TSJ) issued a statement Monday refuting allegations that a jailed opposition politician had died due to inadequate medical attention.
On Sunday, First Justice (PJ) party councilman Carlos Garcia, 43, died in hospital after suffering a stroke.
The opposition leader from Apure state was arrested in December 2016 on charges of theft, public incitement, and arson in relation to acts of looting in the town of Guasdualito.
Venezuela’s opposition has responded by blaming the death on the Maduro government, accusing it of denying Garcia medical treatment.
“Carlos Andres Garcia was my friend, we had been clamoring for him to receive medical attention for months,” National Assembly President and PJ leader Julio Borges declared via Twitter.
For its part, the First Justice party labeled the death a “murder”, alleging that authorities had refused a request for medical treatment in August.
However, in its statement the TSJ confirmed that on August 18 Garcia was hospitalized on the orders of the court after presenting signs of hypertension.
The top court likewise revealed that Garcia’s court records contain no indication that the politician at any point suffered a prior chronic illness during his time in custody.
According to the TSJ, Garcia may have suffered an “immune-deficient infectious disease”, though the exact cause of the stroke has yet to be confirmed.
In response to opposition allegations of mistreatment, the high court additionally placed a call to “the nation’s political leaders”, urging them to “abstain from giving irresponsible opinions with false information intended to cause alarm in the population”.
The National Constituent Assembly’s Truth Commission has vowed to review the case “in the interest of determining veracity and avoiding the manipulation of information”.