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Venezuela president to address UN rights council as some diplomats, rights groups decry tactic


Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro

GENEVA _ Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is to speak to the main U.N. human rights body, as Western diplomats grumble that he is trying to exploit the panel, advocacy groups decry his rights record and two of his wife’s nephews are arrested for alleged cocaine smuggling.

Weeks before elections in Venezuela, Maduro was to speak Thursday to the Human Rights Council in a relatively rare appearance by a head of state. Critics accuse him of trying to score political points.

Human rights groups say dozens of political prisoners have been detained in Venezuela.

On Wednesday, people familiar with the case said two nephews of first lady Cilia Flores _ who was travelling with Maduro _ were arrested in Haiti on charges of conspiring to smuggle 800 kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.

The Associated Press

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