President Nicolas Maduro accused Freddy Guevara of being part of an alleged plot in which one of Venezuela's biggest criminal gangs is allegedly in charge of generating violence to destabilise and assassinate the government.

Venezuelan opposition leader Freddy Guevara speaks to the media after leaving
Venezuelan opposition leader Freddy Guevara speaks to the media after leaving "El Helicoide", a detention centre of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service, where he had been imprisoned, in Caracas on August 15, 2021. (Reuters)

Key Venezuelan opposition figure Freddy Guevara, arrested for "treason" and "terrorism" last month, has been released days after the start of new talks between the opposition and government.

Guevara, 35, was pulled from his car in Caracas by members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin) and detained on July 12.

Attorney General Tarek Saab charged Guevara with "crimes of terrorism, attacks against the constitutional order, conspiracy to commit a crime and treason" over alleged links to violent clashes earlier in July in a Caracas neighbourhood that the government of President Nicolas Maduro said were part of a plot to unseat him.

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Negotiations between government and opposition

Guevara's release comes as the government and opposition launched new negotiations, mediated by Norway and hosted in Mexico, to try to end a crippling political and economic crisis in the country. The negotiations also include the release of political prisoners on the agenda.

The United States had urged Venezuela to free Guevara, a former student leader and lawmaker, saying his arrest cast a shadow over leftist leader Maduro's stated openness to talk with the opposition.

In response to media reports he would join the opposition team at the negotiations in Mexico after his release, Guevara said he did not know if he would take part.

Guevara's days-long isolation

Guevara told reporters on Sunday he had been in isolation until several days ago and did not have any further details about his release, according to footage from local internet broadcaster VIVOPlay.

"I'm not clear on what the limitations are," Guevara said.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation had earlier said Guevara was expected to be put under house arrest.

One of his lawyers, Teresly Malave, told that the judge "has not imposed terms" of his release yet but that he believed Guevara would be granted full release or have some reporting requirements. 

He ruled out the possibility of house arrest.

Guevara, elected to parliament in the 2015 vote that gave the opposition control of the assembly under the leadership of Juan Guaido, has been accused in the past by the socialist government of encouraging violence in protests that called for Maduro's departure.

The Venezuelan government and the opposition on Friday signed an initial agreement laying out guidelines for the dialogue in Mexico City. The talks will include more than a dozen countries, including Norway, Russia and the Netherlands.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies