HAVANA TIMES – The Venezuelan government has accused Spain of helping opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez flee to Madrid and of having advance knowledge of a failed plot to kill President Nicolas Maduro, reports dpa news.
Lopez had been staying at the Spanish diplomatic compound in Caracas for a year and a half before he left and arrived in Madrid on Sunday.
The Venezuelan government issued a statement accusing Spanish Ambassador Jesus Silva of organizing Lopez’ escape.
It also accused Silva of knowing that Lopez was planning “Operation Gideon” – an unsuccessful plot the government said was aimed at killing Maduro and destabilizing the country in May.
Caracas said Spain’s behaviour was “hostile, outrageous and unacceptable” and that it violated the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.
Spain’s Foreign Ministry had earlier announced Lopez’ arrival in Madrid, where he was reunited with his family. His father Leopoldo Lopez Gil represents Spain’s conservative People’s Party in the European Parliament.
It also condemned the arrests of employees of the Spanish embassy in Caracas and searches of the homes of embassy personnel.
Lopez was jailed in 2014 after calling for protests against Maduro and was released into house arrest in 2017.
He was freed from house arrest on the orders of self-declared interim president Juan Guaido in 2019, but fled to the Spanish diplomatic compound following a failed opposition uprising.
On Saturday, Lopez tweeted he would continue his role in Guaido’s government from his new location and said more details would come in the following days.
Guaido and Maduro have been in a bitter power struggle since 2019.