Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Backed by Trump, Venezuelans march to demand release of López

By on February 18, 2017

In this Feb 18, 2014 file photo, opposition leader Leopoldo López, dressed in white and holding up flowers, is taken into custody by Bolivarian National Guards, in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuela's supreme court rejected an appeal and ratified on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, the 14 year sentence given to Lopez. (Alejandro Cegarra, File/AP)

In this Feb 18, 2014 file photo, opposition leader Leopoldo López, dressed in white and holding up flowers, is taken into custody by Bolivarian National Guards, in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuela’s supreme court rejected an appeal and ratified on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, the 14 year sentence given to Lopez. (Alejandro Cegarra, File/AP)

CARACAS — Hundreds of Venezuelans are marching Saturday to demand the release of activist Leopoldo López on the third anniversary of the opposition leader’s arrest.

The annual opposition-organized demonstration has taken on added urgency after President Donald Trump this week met with López’s wife in the Oval Office.

Similar marches were held in Madrid and elsewhere.

The U.S. State Department on Saturday repeated Trump’s call for Lopez’s immediate release and freedom for all “prisoners of conscience.”

López last year was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison in a trial marred by irregularities for inciting violence during anti-government protests. Venezuela’s Supreme Court upheld the conviction this week in the face of widespread condemnation by many foreign governments and the United Nations, which consider Lopez a political prisoner.

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