Despite acknowledging the risk of being jailed, Venezuela’s opposition hardliner Leopoldo Lopez has released a video asking his protesters to join him in a march on Tuesday to demand a halt to the crackdown that followed Wednesday’s deadly protests.
As an answer to Lopez’s message, President Nicolas Maduro spoke at a rally in Caracas on Saturday to denounce US interference in Venezuelan sovereignty, and promised to apply the full weight of law to Lopez and his upcoming protest. The government issued a warrant for Lopez’s arrest on Thursday following nationwide protests that left three dead, on charges of murder and terrorism. Maduro has blames Lopez for leading a coup against his government with the aid of the US. He also said he had ordered the explusion of three US consular officials who had conspired against his administration.
“I will present myself. I have nothing to fear. I have committed no crime. I have been a Venezuelan with deep commitments towards my country and my people”, said the opposition’s leader Lopez in the three-minute video that circulated trough social media networks.
Venezuelan security forces also raided the homes of the opposition leader Leopoldo López and his parents, looking to arrest him. “Maduro, you’re a coward,” López posted in a message on Twitter after the raid early Sunday. “You’re not going to force me or my family to bow down.”
López is a 42-year-old Harvard-trained former mayor of the Chacao Municipality of Caracas, a social activist working for “grass-roots judicial reform” and the most prominent of a group of hardliners who have to supported two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.
Video Author: Andreina Nash