Venezuela Opposition Leader Makes It To Spain

Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez speaking to the media at the gate of the Spanish ambassador's residence on May 02, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela. (Photo by Rafael Briseño/Getty Images)

News Americas, MADRID, Spain, Mon. Oct 26, 2020: Venezuelan opposition politician, Leopoldo Lopez, is now in Spain after spending the past year at the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Venezuela to escape house arrest.

“Leopoldo Lopez arrived in Madrid today, being able to reunite with his family,” Spain’s foreign ministry said on Sunday.

In a series of tweets, Lopez posted: “Venezuelans, this decision has not been easy, but rest assured that you have this server to fight from any space. We will not rest and we will continue working day and night to achieve the freedom that all Venezuelans deserve.”

And: “Our fight is so that all Venezuelan families can meet again in our country. Only that day can we say that we are truly free.”

Lopez was jailed in 2014 after leading protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. He was released to house arrest in 2017.

From house arrest, he was a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaido, who early last year invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency and began a campaign to unseat Maduro.

Members of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) are seen outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, on October 24, 2020. (Photo by FEDERICO PARRA/AFP via Getty Images)

In April 2019, when Guaido tried to spur a military revolt against Maduro, Lopez appeared on the streets again alongside him. When the uprising fizzled, Lopez sought shelter first in the Chilean diplomatic residence and then at the home of the Spanish ambassador.

(Editor’s Note: Reuters’ Jessica Jones, Elena Rodriguez, Belen Carreno contributed to this story.)