Venezuela releases several 'political prisoners'

Venezuelan opposition leaders say the government has released at least four out of more than 100 jailed activists they consider political prisoners.

Best-known of the men is Carlos Melo, leader of a small party in the Democratic Unity opposition alliance who was held for two months.

The releases follow Vatican-sponsored talks Sunday between the government and opposition aimed at defusing a political crisis sharpened by the socialist regime's derailing of a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro.

The opposition won control of congress in December and summoned Maduro Tuesday to a political trial that seeks to declare his presidency void.

Maduro has called the proceedings a coup attempt and signaled his intention to boycott it.