Leopoldo Lopez: Venezuela court upholds 14-year prison sentence

Pablo Tucker
February 17, 2017

Venezuela's highest court has upheld a 14-year prison sentence for opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, ruling a day after U.S. President Donald Trump called for his release after meeting with Lopez's wife. The 45-year-old Lopez was convicted by a Caracas court on September 10, 2015, of inciting violence during mass protests in 2014 and sentenced to serve 13 years and nine months at the Ramo Verde military prison.

"Under this dictatorship, every sentence is null", said Mr Lopez's wife, Lilian Tintori, as she arrived in Caracas following a meeting in Washington with Mr Trump. The president also posted a photograph of himself with Tintori in the Oval Office.

Shortly before Trump sent the tweet about Lopez, Maduro had warned the USA leader that he would respond with a firm hand to any action by Washington he deemed to be aggressive. The street mobilizations resulted in an additional 800 injured as well as millions of dollars in property damage. He was referring to the sanctions imposed on his executive Vice President Tareck El Aissami, who was added to the US Treasury Department's blacklist of "Kingpin" drug traffickers.

FUERTE is an intimate glimpse into the life of one of Venezuela's now most recognizable figures as she travels across Venezuela campaigning to win the parliamentary elections in hope of winning a majority that can free her husband.

President Trump's hardline stance on Venezuela marks an escalation from the Obama administration, which supported dialogue between the government and the opposition, despite labeling the South American country an "unusual and extraordinary threat" to United States national security.

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