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Two Venezuelan opposition MPs arrive in Italy

03 dicembre 2019 | 13.54
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Two Venezuelan opposition members of parliament, Mariela Magallanes and Americo De Grazia, have arrived in Italy, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The two MPs, both with a dual Italian-Venezuelan nationalities arrived at Rome's Fiumicino Airport late on Monday, where they were greeted by officials, the statement said. The pair were sheltered by the Italian Embassy in Caracas in May after their parliamentary immunity was revoked, the statement said.

Magallanese and De Grazia were charged with supporting an attempted “military coup” in crisis-hit Venezuela in late April by National Assembly leader Juan Guaido.

Magallanes and De Grazia were also banned from leaving the country.

The "complex operation" to bring the two MPs back to Italy "was made possible by intense diplomatic work by the foreign ministry and the Italian embassy in Venezuela," said the statement.

Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio was "directly involved" in the process which led to "confidential negotiations" between Venezuela's leftist president Nicolas Maduro and the Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Senator Pierferdinando Casini, the statement said.

Guaido declared himself Venezuela's interim president in January and has gained the backing of over 50 countries but has so far failed to remove Maduro from power following his contested 2018 re-election.

Venezuela is suffering one of the worst economic meltdowns in history with a quarter of its 30 million population in need of aid, according to the UN.

Over four million Venezuelans have left the country over the past years.

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