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Leopoldo López

Venezuelan democracy leader

Leopoldo López is a Venezuelan opposition leader and democracy activist. He founded the Venezuelan opposition party, Voluntad Popular, and served as mayor of the Chacao municipality in Caracas. In 2014, López was arrested on trumped-up charges for leading peaceful, nationwide protests denouncing Nicolás Maduro’s regime. After a 19-month show trial, he was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison. He spent the first three years in prison and was subsequently released to house arrest. López escaped house arrest and sought asylum at the Spanish embassy in Caracas after his military guards defected from Maduro’s regime and threw their support behind acting president Juan Guaidó. After a daring escape from Venezuela in October 2020, López was reunited with his family in Spain, where he now lives in exile. He is one of the leaders and founding members of the World Liberty Congress, and continues to be a leading voice in calling for democracy in Venezuela.

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