Venezuela Seeks Opposition Leader’s Arrest After Protests Turned Deadly

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Venezuelan authorities sought on Thursday to arrest an opposition leader in the wake of violent anti-government protests that left three people dead and nearly two dozen injured. It was the worst unrest since President Nicolas Maduro’s disputed election victory last year sparked clashes.

The Venezuelan government issued an arrest warrant for Leopoldo Lopez, a 42-year-old politician who is sought on various charges, including incitement to riot and terrorism, local media said. Lopez is considered one of the most vocal critics of the Maduro government. In recent weeks, he has been organizing demonstrations against the Maduro administration, which protesters accuse of poor governance as the crime rate worsens, human rights concerns rise and economic hardships mount. Venezuela’s economy is in crisis after annual inflation rose to a staggering 56 percent and Maduro’s critics want him to resign.

On Wednesday, after protests culminated in an outbreak of violence, Lopez accused the government of making him a scapegoat for state-led violence against protesters. “The government is playing the violence card, and not for the first time,” he told Reuters. “They’re blaming me without any proof … I’m innocent. I have a clear conscience because we called for peace,” he said, adding that the demonstrations would continue.

President Nicolas Maduro, who described the recent protests as a possible coup against his government, said that further protests would not be allowed. “They want to topple the government through violence,” Maduro said in a TV broadcast. “They have no ethics, no morals … We will not permit any more attacks.”

Almost a year after the death of the populist demagogue Hugo Chavez, political divisions in the nation he once united through his charisma threaten the stability of the whole country.

[Reuters]

3 comments
CLMARKS
CLMARKS

First Venezuela, then Argentina...

Full ahead although the course is uncertain ? 

GuziArostegui
GuziArostegui

As a Venezuelan citizen I am disgusted with all the irregularities that are taking place in my country. We have as president an alien who was born in Colombia. He is functioning as president but we know for sure that the Castro brothers are the ones who give the orders. All our gold was sent to Cuba. They are eliminating all the factories, industries, anything that generates jobs and salaries. Venezuela is in bankruptcy, and they will not stop until it is completely destroyed. Once they accomplish their plans Cuba will take over. Theyown all the institutions. There are no human rights. We don't havethe right to complain. If we do, then they will make sure that you will never get a job. There is no law except for the opositio, This is not what the people want. We are surrounded by delincuents, that are hired by Maduro, to control us. This is not the country that I was born in. We are peaceful persons. If you watch the videos you will see it clearly. Those that are throwing stones were hired by the regime, to cause riots, then they bring out their mercenaries to shoot and kill our students. And as always everybody will be responsible except the regime. We all know that it was Maduro who gave the order to kill, Those persons were hired by Maduro and trained in Cuba, and the arms that they carry are given to them by Maduro.

Gerard26
Gerard26

Having emigrated from Venezuela in 2001, I am deeply saddened by the conditions of the country. Chavez's Legacy has left an economy in tatters and a deeply divided country along with high inflation, scarcity of basic goods and little hope of improvement. The Bolivarian Revolution was a fraud. Maduro should resign and leaders that are ready to put Venezuela forward should be elected.