By Lokman Ilhan
BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – The UN’s top human rights official met Friday with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to discuss the country’s political and humanitarian crisis.
Maduro thanked UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Michelle Bachelet for her visit at a news conference after the meeting.
He expressed his desire for the visit to contribute to opening a new page between Venezuela and the OHCHR.
He also vowed to prosecute anyone who violates human rights in Venezuela.
Bachelet arrived in the country on Wednesday at the invitation of Maduro.
She met with government and opposition leaders during her three-day visit.
Venezuela's economy has been in precipitous decline following a global downturn in the price of crude oil, the country's main export.
The country has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10, when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.
Tensions flared when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23, a move supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.
Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have thrown their weight behind Maduro.
Nearly 5,000 people leave Venezuela every day because of "instability and uncertainty" amid a crisis over the presidency and economy, and 3 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2015, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz