Exiled Venezuelan opposition figure Lopez urges Europe to impose sanctions on Maduro
In an interview with FRANCE 24, leading Venezuelan opposition figure Leopoldo Lopez explains how he left Venezuela for Spain last month to be "more effective in our fight against the dictatorship from exile". According to him, President Nicolas Maduro is still in power "because he's a brutal dictator" and "the head of a criminal enterprise". Lopez calls for international sanctions – in particular from European countries such as France – to be imposed on Maduro and other top officials.
In the interview, Lopez told FRANCE 24 that he had decided to flee his country after years in detention and house arrest because he could not wage a political fight in such conditions. He said he had fled the Spanish embassy in Caracas on his own and had not negotiated his departure with Maduro’s regime.
Lopez denied that his exile was of political benefit to the regime, claiming that he was able to continue his advocacy from abroad and gather international support. He said the forthcoming legislative elections scheduled for December 6 were "a fraud" and that the opposition had decided to boycott them. He stressed that the strategy of the opposition was "regime change through free and fair elections".
He rejected claims that he had tried to engineer a coup back in April 2019, claiming that it was a popular and pacific insurrection that had simply not succeeded. Finally, Lopez urges the international community, especially Europe, to mount pressure on the Maduro regime through added sanctions against top Venezuelan officials, including the president himself.
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