January 16, 2018

Venezuelan dissident thanks Argentine president for his support after being released from jail

Friday, July 14, 2017

Leopoldo López calls Macri

President Mauricio Macri and Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López spoke on the phone yesterday, with the latter thanking the president for his support during his time in prison and the government’s efforts to find a resolution to Venezuela’s ongoing political crisis.

López spent more than three years in prison accused of inciting violence and was suddenly placed in house arrest last Saturday following a surprise decision by the Venezuelan Supreme Court. López, a fierce critic of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, reportedly told Macri details of his incarceration and said to the president that “the changes be carried out through popular sovereignty.”

Macri welcomed López’s wife Lilian Tintori onstage on election night in Buenos Aires in 2015, signalling a definitive swing away from the close relationship built between former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Caracas. López was already in jail by then and Macri entered into a diplomatic spat with Venezuela by calling for López’s immediate release on the grounds that he was a “political prisoner” before he was even sworn-in.

The president yesterday promised to continue with his “commitment to the Venezuelan people” and called for “new elections, that the independence of branches be respected and that political prisoners be released.”

—Herald with Reuters

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