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  • Venezuela's Maduro Recognizes House Arrest Ruling for Lopez

    | Photo: Prensa Presidential

Published 8 July 2017

The former mayor of the Caracas district of Chacao called for, planned and then promoted violent street blockades in 2014.

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro says he complies with the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice, the TSJ, to grant house arrest to the opposition leader Leopoldo López.

Lopez has been sent home after spending than three years in jail.

Maduro said "I, as head of state, accept the TSJ's decision on the humanitarian measure that gives Leopoldo Lopez a home for imprisonment".

During a meeting with oil workers at the Simón Bolívar Polideportivo complex in Anzoátegui state, the President said the prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz had requested an impeachment for Leopoldo Lopez for 30 years.

"He (Lopez) has been prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned by the responsibility of the Attorney General's Office. I have never moved a finger because I have never intervened in the decisions of the Public Prosecutor's Office," he said.

In 2014, Lopez, the former mayor of the Caracas district of Chacao called for, planned and then promoted violent street blockades in Venezuela.

The blockades, which became known as “Guarimbas,” claimed the lives of 43 people, injured hundreds and caused billions of dollars in damages to public buildings and infrastructure.

Lopez was arrested, tried, condemned and sentenced to 14 years in prison that same year. 

The Venezuelan Preisdent also said "I hope this measure of the Truth, Justice and Peace Commission and the TSJ will be understood by Leopoldo Lopez and after almost four years in Ramo Verde send a message of rectification and peace to the country because the country wants peace".

A group representing the victims of the blockades says it too complies with the Supreme Court of Justice's decision.

But on its Twitter account, the organization called Victims of Guarimbas, reiterated Leopoldo Lopez's culpability in their relatives' deaths.

The United States has also issued its reaction to the ruling.

In a statement, the State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Washington welcome Lopez's transfer to house arrest, calling it a "significant step in the right direction by the government of Venezuela".

It went on to call for his full release along with that of 400 political prisoners.

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