UN chief to meet Venezuela's foreign minister

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Associated Press

Posted on March 1, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Mar 2 at 2:33 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A spokesman says U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will meet Monday with Venezuela's foreign minister.

Spokesman Martin Nesirky says Ban will meet in Geneva with Foreign Minister Elias Jaua, while Venezuela remains tense after weeks of violent student-led protests.

One of the opposition's highest profile leaders, former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, tweeted Saturday: "We also ask to be allowed to report on the actual situation, NO official bias!"

The opposition refuses to open a dialogue until President Nicolas Maduro releases protesters from jail and stops harsh crackdowns on protests.

The U.N. human rights chief called Friday for the Venezuelan government to respect peaceful assemblies and expressed concern about the use of excessive force against protesters.

Venezuelans face inflation that hit 56 percent last year, scarce basic necessities and runaway violent crime.

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