Wednesday, August 4

Leopoldo López: “The Spanish Government should not extradite any Venezuelan opponent”




The political leader Leopoldo Lopez has denounced a new wave of persecution by the regime of Nicolas Maduro, against members of his political party Voluntad Popular, and assures that it is one more maneuver of the dictatorship to distract attention from what is happening in Cuba. “Not only does it exist, but there will be a relationship in the fate of Cuba and Venezuela,” said the opponent.

Last weekend, the Venezuelan dictatorship requested the arrest of more than 12 people from the political organization Popular will. So far, four leaders of the orange tent are imprisoned, the last one the former vice president of Parliament Freddy Guevera, who after being charged with “terrorism” and “treason”, was transferred to the dungeons of El Helicoide. But the political persecution of the regime crosses borders and López is a victim of it in his exile in Madrid.

Maduro has once again insisted on the extradition of the opponent to Venezuela and has ordered the Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, to begin the procedure before the Spanish Government. «The Government of Spain cannot be an accessory to terrorism and violence against the Venezuelan people, “he said.

“Clearer and firmer”

Following the extradition request against him, López summoned the Government of Pedro Sánchez to reconsider its position on the demands of Chavismo because a decision like that “has very serious consequences.” “I hope that Spain does not process or approve any extradition of opponents because the fate of those Venezuelans will be torture, imprisonment and perhaps death.” He recalled the case of the political prisoner, Fernando Albán, who was assassinated by the government after falling from a tenth floor.

The opponent, the number one opponent of Caracas, stated that he was sentenced to 14 years in prison and was deprived of liberty for more than seven. «In addition, all the procedures of Venezuelan law were violated. It was a closed trial, they did not allow me to present witnesses or evidence, “said the former political prisoner and recalls that two Venezuelans Rolando Figueroa and Ernesto Quintero, they are being held in Spanish prisons (the Texeiro and Soto del Real prison, respectively) awaiting extradition to Venezuela.

In order to collaborate with justice, López presented last May together with his lawyers, a letter before the National Court in which he makes himself available to the Central Courts in the face of the extradition request agreed in Venezuela.

Given the disagreements that the Venezuelan opposition had with Arancha González Laya for his approach to the Bolivarian regime and after his recent departure from the Foreign Ministry, Leopoldo López asked the new minister, Jose Manuel AlbaresMay it have a “clearer and more firm” commitment to Venezuela. “We hope that Spain and Albares assume the responsibility of constructively leading the process to regain freedom and democracy in Venezuela,” said the opponent.

However, he is concerned that Spain does not take a leading role in the resolution of the crisis due to its political interests: “We are very concerned about some positions, which instead of seeking change and democracy are considering the stability and permanence of the dictatorship.” . “It is the wrong path,” warns López while ensuring that Albares “will take the right path.” “A new opportunity opens up”, he specified.

EU Mission in Caracas

The new offensive of the Venezuelan Government against the opponents takes place within the framework of negotiations sponsored by the European Union and it coincides with the trip of a commission delegated to Caracas to evaluate the situation in situ.

A day after unidentified officials, with long weapons, detained and disappeared Freddy Guevara for more than 12 hours, Maduro announced Mexico as the venue for the dialogue with the opposition in which he does not want his adversary, the interim president, to participate. Juan Guaidó. “All these events occurred in Venezuela with the presence of a European Union commission that went to verify whether there were conditions to go to an electoral process,” said the most emblematic political prisoner of the South American country. “It is positive that the commission has been there because it is more than clear that there is no democracy or conditions to go to an electoral process,” he said. «Europe must make it very clear what is happening in our country», He sentenced.

When asked if the interim government will continue negotiating with the regime as a result of the latest events, López assured that “this repressive wave affects the political panorama and the negotiation process to reach the national salvation agreement. But the decisions we make will be made in unity and we will announce them in unity and it is part of our challenge as the opposition.

The profound differences in the Venezuelan opposition have never been a secret, but they were further amplified in 2018 when the so-called interim government emerged that removed political leaders from the top where momentous decisions were made. For this reason, López acknowledges that “there is talk of the fatigue of the Venezuelan case” and that “he understands that our crisis has lasted a long time”, but that the objective should not be lost sight of.

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