• Costa Rica Coffee Guide
  • Tico Travel Surfing
  • Squaremouth travel insurance button 468x106
  • Costa Rica Real Estate

Venezuela charges opposition leader, sparking protests

April 4, 2014

CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela’s attorney general formally charged jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López on Friday over anti-government protests that have roiled the country for two months, triggering fresh demonstrations in Caracas.

The Harvard-educated economist has been held in a military prison since his Feb. 18 arrest in the midst of an opposition protest rally against leftist President Nicolás Maduro, who has faced near-daily demonstrations since early February.

Thirty-nine people have died in clashes between security forces and protesters angered by soaring crime, high inflation and shortages of essential goods.

Attorney General Luis Ortega Díaz told a press conference that formal charges were brought against López, leader of the Popular Will party, accusing him of inciting violence, arson, damage to property and conspiracy.

The government had until Saturday — 45 days from López’s arrest — to bring the charges or release him.

The government action stems from López’s public support for the student-led street protests that have rocked the country since they began Feb. 4 in the western city of San Cristobal and spread to several other major cities, including the capital Caracas.

López and some other opposition leaders are advocates of a strategy dubbed “the exit,” aimed at pressuring Maduro — the handpicked successor to late socialist icon Hugo Chávez — to resign.

Hours after the attorney general’s announcement, about 3,000 demonstrators, most of them students, hit the streets in the east of Caracas demanding López be freed.

Under the slogan “Free Leopoldo,” some were dressed in white, a symbol of peace, while others carried the flag of Venezuela.

One young man, who wore a homemade gas mask in anticipation of security forces firing tear gas to disperse the rally, said: “We have no weapons, just stones.”

Ernesto Palacios, a Popular Will activist, told AFP: “As a sign of respect, the government should release Leopoldo López and political prisoners.”

Read more Venezuela stories by clicking on the hashtag #Bolivarian Revolution

You may be interested

Costa Rica extends coronavirus travel restrictions through April 30
Costa Rica
10900 views
Costa Rica
10900 views

Costa Rica extends coronavirus travel restrictions through April 30

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 6, 2020

Costa Rica has extended its entry restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic until April 30. Through at least the…

Costa Rica ‘has not had an intense increase in cases,’ Health Ministry says
Costa Rica
9971 views
Costa Rica
9971 views

Costa Rica ‘has not had an intense increase in cases,’ Health Ministry says

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 6, 2020

Costa Rica has confirmed 467 total cases of the novel coronavirus, the Health Ministry announced Monday afternoon. The figure marks…

Costa Rica studies international response to Nicaraguan coronavirus inaction
Central America
180 views
Central America
180 views

Costa Rica studies international response to Nicaraguan coronavirus inaction

AFP and The Tico Times - April 6, 2020

Costa Rica is studying international actions to monitor Nicaragua's response to the novel coronavirus, as the government has not ordered…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!