The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said it is looking into a claim that crimes against humanity have taken place in Venezuela.
The Office of the Prosecutor said it is aware of the allegations of serious human rights violations in Venezuela.
In a statement, the Office said it was now evaluating and assessing reports and information concerning the alleged rights violations in the context of the Prevention and Serious Crimes on National Movements.
The prosecutor’s office said it would hold an assessment hearing on January 23 and the results would be communicated shortly.
The office has also opened an investigation into “situations of serious crimes against humanity” in Uganda and Kenya.
The announcement of the hearings follows a June last year report from the Prosecutor’s Office suggesting that more than 700,000 people had died in the western African country of Sudan since 2011.
The prosecutor of the court Luis Moreno-Ocampo was part of a delegation which met President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas and expressed his concern about reports of widespread human rights violations by Venezuelan authorities.
Maduro dismissed the allegations and insisted that Venezuela was the country that suffered the “largest, steepest and deadliest” genocide in modern history.
Since taking office in 2013, Maduro has been at odds with the United States.
The opposition leader and leader of the Venezuela’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) political coalition Juan Guaido said he plans to present his credentials to US Vice President Mike Pence in Washington.
The opposition leader has demanded that Juan Guaido be recognised as interim president following last year’s death of Venezuela’s first democratically elected President Hugo Chavez.
Guaido was born in Venezuela, but now lives in the United States.
The announcement came after Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, visited Caracas.
According to The Guardian, Rubio said the call by the Trump administration for regime change in Venezuela and increased economic sanctions were had failed to achieve any desired result.
“The root cause of this problem is the behavior of the opposition led by Juan Guaido.”
The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on over 70 Venezuelan officials on November 8 and on November 19, the US imposed fresh sanctions on top Venezuelan government officials.
The sanctions prevent them from entering the US unless they publicly renounce Nicolas Maduro’s government.
Venezuela is more than 85 percent reliant on oil exports.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has approved a collective deal to reduce global oil supply to boost crude prices and cushion the impact of the ongoing oversupply on global markets.
The deal is meant to last through the first half of this year.
The agreement, which was reached at an OPEC meeting in Vienna on November 28, has succeeded in gradually driving up oil prices.