United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is set to meet separately Friday with in Caracas with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido.

The meetings come as both men continue to struggle for control of the crisis-ridden, oil-rich country.

Guaido’s five-month campaign to oust Maduro has not been successful, despite being recognized as Venezuela’s legitimate president by U.S. President Donald Trump and about other 50 other world leaders.

Maduro has maintained that Guaido’s efforts have been part of a U.S.-backed coup attempt.

Opposition leaders say protests would be held throughout the day to highlight the government’s human rights record. Protesters took to the streets Thursday to draw attention to political prisoners in the country.

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Bachelet said in March that Venezuelan security forces, backed by pro-government militias, suppressed peaceful protests with murders, torture and excessive force.

Bachelet arrived in Venezuela on Wednesday for a two-day visit at the invitation of the government. Her visit precedes a three-week U.N. Human Rights Council session that begins on June 24.

The U.S. and other Western states are expected to denounce Maduro’s government for its alleged use of excessive force and mismanagement, which has led to chronic shortages of essentials, such as food and medicine.

Trump has urged Venezuela’s military to remove Maduro from power to allow humanitarian aid to enter the country. During a February speech in Miami, Florida, Trump said, «All options are on the table» to use military force if necessary.

Maduro remains in power, however, and there is little indication he will be ousted anytime soon. This has frustrated Trump, resulting in him losing interest in the South American country, according to The Washington Post and other media outlets, citing senior administration officials.

www.voanews.com

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