The Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López left yesterday the residence of the Spanish Ambassador in Caracas, where he was sheltered as a “guest” since April 30, 2019, according to his political party, Voluntad Popular, and confirmed by the government headed by Juan Guaidó, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly.
López is said to have gone to Colombia, through a clandestine route, although his intention is to move to Spain, where his wife, Lilian Tintori, and his children are, as well as his mother and father, Leopoldo López, who is an MEP for the Popular Party. The latter told Efe yesterday that his son will be “very soon” in our country.
In a statement, the “Legitimate Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela” informs that “an operation that managed to circumvent the repression apparatus of the dictatorship to remove the presidential commissioner for the coordination of the Center of Government, Leopoldo López, to international territory has been successfully completed.
“From this new space of struggle”, adds the communiqué, “the residential commissioner Leopoldo Lopez will assume and promote the measures and actions necessary to achieve our freedom, without depending on the political, communicational, legal and diplomatic restrictions that his former condition forced him to endure. Commissioner Lopez will continue with greater commitment and will give his support to the people of Venezuela, President Guaido, the interim government, the National Assembly and the democratic political and social forces of the country”.
Finally, the text acknowledges “the historic contribution of the Government of Spain, and of its Ambassador in Caracas, Jesús Silva, as guarantors of the physical integrity of Leopoldo López during the months in which he was received as a guest in his diplomatic headquarters in Caracas”.
The departure of the Venezuelan opponent comes a month after the Spanish government confirmed the replacement of the Spanish ambassador in Caracas, Jesús Silva, by the current ambassador to Cuba, Juan Fernández Trigo. The change has not yet taken place.
When the announcement was made, the Spanish government assured that the change would not imply a change in the situation of Leopoldo López, and that he could remain as a guest in the diplomatic representation as long as he wanted to.
Leopoldo López was sentenced to almost fourteen years in prison in 2015 for, according to the Venezuelan justice system, inciting violence in the opposition revolts of 2014 against the Maduro government. After passing through the Ramo Verde military prison in Caracas, he was placed under house arrest.
The opposition leader arrived at the residence of the Spanish ambassador after taking refuge in the diplomatic facilities after Operation Libertad, a military coup attempt against Maduro in which López was released from house arrest by his own captors.