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Venezuelan dissident says international military intervention falls within the Constitution

Leopoldo López, who fled to the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas after trying to lead an uprising, believes many people in Nicolás Maduro’s closest circle want him out

leopoldo lopez
Leopoldo López during his interview with EFE in Caracas. EFE

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López believes that an international military intervention in his country is an option that would be legal because “it is within the Constitution,” he said on Thursday in an exclusive interview with the Spanish news agency EFE.

There hasn’t been an international coalition in favor of a liberation cause with so much support since World War II

López, who has taken refuge inside the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas, said that nothing prevents the use of legal constitutional tools to try to achieve freedom, because “freedom in Venezuela is measured in deaths” and because “every day that goes by is a day that children die from malnutrition, that people die in hospitals, or out of insecurity.”

Regarding the level of support by the military, he said that many members of the armed forces side with the opposition. On Tuesday, however, his attempt alongside interim president Juan Guaidó to persuade the military to switch sides failed. It was then that he sought diplomatic protection from Spain.

Although he is not ruling out an international military intervention, López insisted that “it has to be a peaceful process” that does not resort to violence.

He also mentioned conversations with leading members of the chavista regime, who allegedly said that President Nicolás Maduro is surrounded by people who want him out of power, even within “his closest circle.”

Every day that goes by is a day that children die from malnutrition

“These days, Maduro can’t even trust the person serving him coffee,” said López. “He knows that his own people want him to go, that they are in talks with us at every level, and he knows he needs to pretend that he’s in charge.”

López, who was under house arrest until his surprise release on Tuesday by a group of military members and civil workers from the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin) who sympathize with the opposition, underscored that interim president Juan Guaidó has been recognized by 58 countries.

“There hasn’t been an international coalition in favor of a liberation cause with so much support since World War II.”

English version by Susana Urra.

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