Venezuela’s opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on Saturday fled the country after spending the last six years in prison, house arrest and diplomatic asylum, his political party said.
Mr Lopez, 49, is heading to an undisclosed international destination after leaving the Spanish embassy in Caracas, according to his political party and Spain’s foreign ministry. He sought refuge at the Spanish ambassador’s residence after leading a failed military coup against the government in April 2019.
A charismatic American-educated former mayor with a piercing dazzle, Mr. Lopez has for years been one of the most radical opponents of the authoritarian President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, whom he sought to overthrow by street forests and increasingly desperate palace plots. However, his maximizing strategy has eluded backwardness, disintegrating the opposition and becoming increasingly irrelevant in the conflicts facing Venezuelans, the deepest economic recession in modern history.
Mr Lopez reached his goal early in 2019, when his supporter, Juan Guedo, a young legislator, declared himself the interim president of the country, citing Mr Maduro’s fraudulent election. The United States and most European and Latin American countries increasingly supported it, cutting the government from the global economy.
However, Mr. Maduro has accepted the challenge and used his control over the security forces to gradually suppress the opposition and terrorize his supporters. As Venezuela’s political crisis grew, sanctions by the Trump administration in Mr. Guedo’s bid for power put the already rapidly shrinking Venezuelan economy and its people in complete humanitarian crisis.
Mr Lopez has now become the latest opposition leader to leave exile, leaving Mr Guado increasingly isolated. Mr Guadou’s term as Speaker of Parliament, on which he has asserted his claim to the leadership of the country, ends in January, threatening to leave the opposition without his ultimate basis of support.
Mr Lopez’s party, Popular Will, said its late leader promised unconditional support for Mr Guadद and would continue the fight against Mr Maduro, who tortured, extrajudicial killings and legal persecution to maintain his hold on power. Have resorted to
His party said in a statement on Saturday, “Like other Venezuelans, Leopoldo López is not completely independent as long as there is a dictatorship that violates human rights of the people.”