Venezuela opposition leader surrenders to police amid protests
Newscast Media CARACAS—The leader of Venezuela’s opposition, Leopoldo Lopez, has
handed himself over to police on charges of fomenting violence. The main critic of
President Maduro has been at the forefront of recent anti-government protests.
Speaking before a rally in Caracas on Tuesday, Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo
Lopez told supporters he didn’t fear serving jail time. The 42-year-old politician was
wanted on charges of inciting violence connected with recent mass demonstrations
against President Nicolas Maduro’s government.
“We’ve got nothing to hide,” Lopez told the crowd, before crossing the picket lines
and handing himself over to security forces.
Subway stations were reportedly closed around the city as pro- and anti-government
protesters held counterdemonstrations on Tuesday.
The Harvard-educated political figure has been accused by President Maduro of
leading a “fascist” plot to overthrow the government.
Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez said on Sunday that an arrest warrant had been
issued against Lopez for murder and terrorism connected with the violence that has
surrounded anti-government protests during the past week. Police searched Lopez’
parents’ home the previous day as part of a manhunt to locate the opposition leader.
Violence broke out at demonstrations in Venezuela’s capital city last week after
protesters and security forces clashed. At least four people have been killed in the
Critics of President Maduro have been holding mass demonstrations to force his
resignation. They blame him for supporting economic policies that have driven inflation
above 50 percent, led to a shortage of hard currency and of consumer goods. The
left-wing leader rose to power last year after long-time President Hugo Chavez
On Monday, the Venezuelan president ordered the expulsion of three US consular
officials, whom he had accused of being linked to students involved in
anti-government protests. They are suspected of using visa outreach as a cover up
for infiltrating the country’s university system.
Source: Deutsche Welle