Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

Leoopoldo LopezHAVANA TIMES — On Thursday, Venezuela’s Voluntad Popular party announced that opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was found guilty of instigating the government protests of last year and sentenced to 13 years, nine months and seven days in prison, dpa news reported.

The sentence indicates that Lopez is to serve his sentence at the Ramo Verde military prison located in the neighboring city of Los Teques, where he has been imprisoned for the last year and a half.

The ruling was handed down by judge Susana Barrieros after several hours of deliberation. Lopez offered a two-hour defense statement during his hearing but was unable to present a video with which he hoped to clarify his position.

Voluntad Popular reported that Lopez will inform the country of his coming activities through his wife, Lilian Tintori.

The final hearing was witness to a confrontation outside the courthouse, where a group of government supporters attacked sympathizers who called for Lopez’ release with stones, sticks and fists.

A Voluntad Popular activist who was beaten during the brawl died as a result of a heart attack. Party leaders blame the government for the incident.

The verdict found Lopez guilty of instigating public unrest, arson and criminal association, charges that had been brought forth by the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office.

The prosecution called for convicting Lopez for instigating the violent events of February 12, 2014, when the opposition rallied to the Attorney General’s Office and confrontations led to violence. Three people died that day.

Lopez was also accused for the wave of violence unleashed in the country between February and May that year during anti-government protests which left 43 dead and more than 800 wounded.

Three students accused of participating in these violent protests were also found guilty and sentenced to between 4 and 10 in prison.

Voluntad Popular spokesman Freddy Guevara, who was present during the hearing, accused President Nicolas Maduro of having personally handed down those rulings.

“Those of us who know him know that Leopold Lopez is ready for this and more. They’re only making him and all of us stronger,” he declared.

In the afternoon, at least six people were injured during attacks by government supporters who marched to the courthouse to demand a guilty verdict for Lopez, a situation which gave rise to heated confrontation.

Despite the military cordon, the angry crowd attacked Voluntad Popular sympathizers with stones and sticks. Sympathizers were forced to retreat to neighboring streets.

Voluntad Popular published several photos on its Twitter account, showing how orange shirts (the color of Lopez’ party) were burnt by government supporters.

17 thoughts on “Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison

  • The Cuban State Police have never heard of “Miranda right”. Any suggestion of the Castro family regime recognising rights, is a bad joke!

  • 1). I am not interested in pursuing the question of Iraq in these pages.
    2). I carefully prefaced my comments about Professor Christian Barnard by writing: To add a bit of irrelevance as you raised the subject of heart transplants.”
    3). You clearly are unable to comprehend the depth of human emotion expressed by that Jewish dentist with your response of “where’s the beef” for that I pity you!
    4). Those of us who read these pages have become aware that as you say:
    “my beef is with the ignorant American political establishment”. Most of the other contributors are concerned about Cuba. Venezuela is relevant because it it the current dummy tit suckling the Castro family regime.
    5). Dr, Ron Paul is yet another irrelevance.
    6). Gratitude is obviously beyond your comprehension. Gratitude towards a nation that took you in and provides you with freedom to openly express your views – were they wrong to do so nidal?

  • Your respond remind me of a TV ad “where’s the beef ”
    Socialist Venezuela have better stability then so-called free , democratic , capitalist Iraq , here is the choice of the people which was expressed at the ballot box and recognized by the United Nation , VS the choices enforced by Wall Street and the American government ,no comparison hands down .
    have you forgotten about the First Amendment of the United States Constitution , what kind of immigrants does the U S what , lying cheating bamboozling ass kissers.(you make me break my rules)
    United States of America had the opportunity to be much better than Switzerland , except conservative politics took it from the highest peak toward the abyss .
    How could you compare the needs of one patient which I’m sure you could find in any hospital , against the technical advance of a nation ? with all due respect you have not answered any of my serious questions as in where the Iraqis where and where they are at now , would this be the vision you have for all socialist countries ? a disastrous turn around to please conservative ideologues .
    again I will reiterate what I believe in , my beef is with the ignorant American political establishment in which you can find American or over the spectrum that disagree with , does the name Dr Ron Paul ring a bell ?

  • I am not an expert upon the Geneva Convention nidal – I do know that Japan was not a signatory and think that similarly, the Taliban and al Queda are not signatories. But correct me if I am wrong, but I think a State of War has to be in effect for the Convention to operate. If I am correct, then the prisoners at Guantanamo are not covered by it.
    Now having answered your point nidal, perhaps you can explain why you suggested that I had mentioned Guantanamo? Both my previous comments clearly related to Venezuela – which nidal, was the subject of the article!
    You are as usual dragging in a “dead cat” in your enthusiasm to vilify the country which gives you succour.

  • If you think that Venezuela has stability then think again. But I note nidal that your deep dislike – if not hatred of your chosen country of refuge has to be dragged in to every contribution you make. it’s boring whether factual or not.
    To add a bit of irrelevance as you raised the subject of heart transplants.
    Years after Dr. Christian Barnard carried out the first successful heart transplant on a Jewish dentist in South Africa, he did a lecture tour in the US north-east.
    Having delivered his talk, a questioner asked:
    “Tell me Professor Barnard, what do you feel about jogging.”
    Barnard smiled and responded:
    “Well I am now 56 years old, so when I feel like jogging, I lie down until the feeling goes away. Walk”
    As for that first recipient, I believe that the donor was coloured. But the dentist who knew that his remaining life would be short, (he lived 9 months), when questioned about the merits of the process replied by asking how you could measure being able to swim again in the ocean and to be able to make love to his wife.

  • where is justice in Guantanamo ? aren’t they prisoners of war protected under the Geneva Convention ? how come their Miranda right was not given to them ?hostilities have ended , why is they are still locked up in concentration camp Guantanamo ? maybe you prefer to use Gitmo this way it sounds as if it was a Boy Scout camp

  • the sentencing of Leopoldo Lopez in Venezuela has unleashed a hue and cry in the mass media worldwide about “a politician being arrested and jailed” – the truth is that Lopez was not arrested for his political views but because of the campaign of riots he organised to force the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government, in the course of which 43 people lost their lives – here’s a short account of what happened – SHARE WIDELY

  • by all accounts Al Gore should have been the president of the United States instead of George Bush , what I’m trying to get to if the shoe was on the other foot we will have the same arguments except in reverse order , what matters the most is what will provide stability in a country that seriously needs it ,
    if Leader Leopoldo Lopez was in power the issue will be the selling out to the Americans, the same as what the Colombians are doing right now .
    Yes in the beginning there would be all kind of food and good life to enjoy equivalent to what happened in Iraq , after that they will start the privatization program in which eventually socialist well be dismantle ,and the whole country will be torn apart from the inside out , after that they will make them dependent on somebody else .
    Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it .
    What happened to Iraq can easily be repeated in any of the socialist country , Iraqis where one of the highest educated people in the Middle East and develop world , woman had as much rights as European woman , the second heart transplant surgery in the world happened in the Iraq ,
    and now look at what Uncle Sam did , he took them back to the Stone Age , and if they ever get their hands on a socialist country anywhere on the planet they will do the same .

  • Imagine anyone looking for justice in a country where the people in power studied at the knee of Fidel Castro Ruz.

  • from the venezuelanalysis article- The high profile trial, which took place over the span of a year and involved 70 hearings, was reportedly dragged out by delay tactics on the part of the Lopez team, including failing to show up for court on several occasions and mounting a thirty day hunger strike.

    I can see you know very little about the judicial system in Venezuela which is a holdover from the 4th Republic, how it works, how judges are selected or appointed and my and others criticism’s of it when opposition figures and others with charges were dropped or not convicted and when some corrupt judges let some go out the back door.

    As for some poll ( most polls are not reliable in most countries, Venezuela even more so) , by some person that shows a election that is years away ( the only elections in the near future are for the national assembly that I expect the PSUV and GPP (dozens of parties) to win but with close races in some areas because the opposition ( at least 11 parties) is fractured and going in many different directions by many with big ego’s and who hate one another) unless you are speaking of a re call election that is only a dream by some in the opposition at this point and I think they could not get enough people sign a petition for it.

    You don’t know me at all, if you think I am a Castro or Maduro apologist or know of my criticisms of either the Cuban or Venezuelan governments.

  • Also known as a “Kangaroo Court.”

  • Thank you, Cort. You fully support closed rigged trials in which the defence is prohibited from defending the accused. That’s your idea of justice? If Lopez was so guilty as you claim, why did the Maduro regime have to resort to such a farcical trial?

    Don’t forget, your hero Hugo Chavez once led an illegal coup against the government of Veneuela and was jailed for it. The stealthy coup which brought Maduro the Cuban Puppet to power was more original in style -pretending Chavez was still alive for the first election & then announcing his death several weeks later so that the Cubans could install Maduro and keep the oil flowing to Cuba. Clever, that. It’s sad how they manage to get European Leftists to defend such an outright and cynical example of imperialism as the Castro regime is inflicting on Venezuela.

  • This is Maduro faithfully following the methods used by the Castro brothers in Cuba to rid themselves of those who might prevent their continuation in power. In Cuba, Camilo Cienfuegos mysteriously disappeared and Huber Matos was stuck in jail following a trial conducted personally by Fidel Castro. Leopoldo Lopez is a big threat to Maduro in a free election as desoite the changes made to the law and the election manipulations, Maduro only won by 1%. Such is the modus operandi of Socialism.

  • Why is it that terrorism by the opposition is condoned for over 14 years ? López and others in the opposition have always gambled on violent actions against the Bolivarian Revolution and the destabilisation offensive by them on many fronts including the economic war that continues to this day.

    He supported the coups in 2002 and 2003, as mayor of the upper-crust Chacao district of Caracas, in 2004 he gave cover to the strategy known as “guarimbas”, acts of violence which caused many deaths at the time.

    During the violence by the opposition from February to April in 2014, over 162 Cuban medical personnel were attacked and medical missions burned down along with many government and PSUV buildings. Besides those killed , hundreds were injured. Millions of dollars in damage were done to the public infrastructure such as electrical systems including the services and facilities necessary for its economy. Many think this pretty boy and his fascist cohorts are some kind of hero’s or martyr’s in the cause of Venezuelan freedom, you’ve no doubt been drinking the Jim Jones Kool-Aid also.

    Leopoldo López is a typical example of a rich kid from the Venezuelan elite, tied to US interests. He studied at the exclusive Kenyon College in Ohio, and in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, both well-known nurseries for the CIA. If I had been the judge, he and the other opposition leaders since 2002 would still be in jail. In the US, if they had did this, they would never see the light of day.

  • About the trial,

    “Throughout his 14-month trial, which was closed to the public and the media, Mr. Lopez’s lawyers repeatedly complained of a partisan judiciary that barred the defense from presenting evidence. The court refused to admit all but one of 65 witnesses for the defense, while allowing the testimony of 108 witnesses for the government.”

    A defy any of the usual Castro apologists to attempt to defend the judicial farce which has convicted Lopez.

  • Lopez’s only crime is that he represents a serious threat to Maduro’s hold on power, and to the Castro regime which backs Maduro. A recent poll showed Leopoldo Lopez with a 43.8% lead over Maduro for the coming elections.

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