Spain says won't let embassy in Caracas turn into 'activism centre'

Madrid (AFP) –


Spain's foreign minister on Friday warned Venezuela's influential opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez not to turn Madrid's embassy in Caracas, where he has taken refuge, into "a centre of political activism."

In a surprise move, Lopez emerged on Tuesday from two years of house arrest to join opposition leader Juan Guaido at a demonstration as the latter called for a military uprising against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Later that day, Lopez sought refuge in the Chilean embassy with his wife and daughter before moving to the Spanish ambassador's residence.

"Spain won't allow its embassy to turn into a centre of political activism," Josep Borrell told reporters on a trip to Lebanon, in comments broadcast by Spanish television channel TVE.

"We are also confident that, under these conditions, Venezuela will respect diplomatic immunity," he added, also announcing Lopez's activities would be regulated, according to TVE.

Lopez, his wife and daughter are currently at the Spanish ambassador's residence as "guests," the Spanish government has said.

On Thursday, Madrid said it would not hand over Lopez after Venezuela's supreme court issued an arrest warrant against him.