By: Earnest Jones | 08-01-2017 | News
Photo credit: Ints Vikmanis | Dreamstime

Key Opposition Leaders Seized in Venezuela

||| Ints Vikmanis | Dreamstime |||

Relatives of two Venezuelan opposition leaders, Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma, have reported the re-arrest of the pair. This comes after the two were under house arrest after accusations of inciting violence during anti-government protests in 2014.

The families of the two leaders have said that they did not know where the two had been taken.

This comes just two days after a controversial vote for a constitutional assembly saw violence on the streets, with at least 10 people killed.

The assembly was convened by President Nicolás Maduro to rewrite Venezuela's constitution amid spiraling anti-government protests on 1 May. The argument was that the move would create peace and foster dialogue by bringing together different sectors of Venezuela's polarized society.

The opposition accused the president of trying to rewrite the constitution in order to maximize his power and sideline the opposition-controlled legislature. This has to a great extent led to the strife that Venezuela is experiencing. They boycotted the vote and called on Venezuelans to take to the streets in protest. The election was condemned by Latin American leaders, the European Union and the US.

It turns out that the Election Day was the wordt so far since the current wave of protest began.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced on Monday that the US had imposed sanctions on President Maduro and called him a "dictator who disregards the will of the Venezuelan people".

'Taken away'

A tweet from Lilian Tintori revealed that Mr. López was taken from his home at 12:27 local time (04:27GMT) on Tuesday. TintorI is Lopez’s wife. A video posted showed him being taken away by members of the Venezuelan intelligence service, Sebin Lilian Tintori wrote that she would hold President Nicolás Maduro responsible if something were to happen to her husband.

A video was also posted by the daughter of Mr Ledezma, Vanessa Ledezma, in which her father is seen wearing pyjamas, being taken away by the Sebin. There’s also a woman who can be heard shouting "They're taking Ledezma, they're taking Ledezma, dictatorship!"

Mr Ledezma and Mr López were key figures in the wave of protests which swept through Venezuela in 2014 in which 43 people from both sides of the political divide were killed. They however played a less prominent role in the most recent protests because they have been under house arrest but their video messages still get reported and shared widely on opposition websites and pages.


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