Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says that he will take the recommendations of U.N. Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet seriously.
“There are always going to be different criteria in every country, but I told her that she can count on me, as president, to take her suggestions, her recommendations and her proposals seriously,” Maduro said, speaking after meeting Bachelet late Friday.
Earlier, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said that Bachelet will leave two delegates in Venezuela to monitor the country’s human rights situation.
Guaido said Bachelet’s team would investigate issues related to the country’s lack of food and medicine. They will also look into allegations President Maduro’s government has violated human rights while cracking down on the opposition.
The trip to Venezuela was Bachelet's first as chief of the U.N. watchdog. Her predecessor, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, was repeatedly denied access to the country for what he considered the government's refusal to recognize the humanitarian crisis.
Maduro appears to have taken a more diplomatic approach this time, as he released on the eve of her arrival, 28 opposition activists many consider political prisoners.
Bachelet arrived in Venezuela at the invitation of the government. Her visit precedes a three-week U.N. Human Rights Council session that begins on June 24.
The U.S. and other Western states are expected to denounce Maduro's government for its alleged use of excessive force and mismanagement, which has led to chronic shortages of essentials, such as food and medicine.