Monday 21 October 2019

Generals 'ready to defect from Maduro regime', says opposition leader from Spanish embassy


Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López. Photo: PA
Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López. Photo: PA

Rozina Sabur

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López has said President Nicolas Maduro's generals are willing to defect from his regime imminently, as Spain vowed to protect the politician.

Speaking from the gates of the Spanish ambassador's residence in Caracas, Mr López said: "It's a crack that will become a bigger crack... that will end up breaking the dam."

Mr Lopez said he had spoken with senior members of the military who supported the end of Mr Maduro's socialist government amid a failing economy and nationwide blackouts.

Spain has refused to hand Mr López, a leading figure in the country's opposition movement, over to Venezuelan authorities, saying: "Spain trusts that the Venezuelan authorities will respect the inviolability of the Spanish ambassador's residence."

The politician had been under house arrest for months but escaped to appear alongside his successor in the movement, Juan Guaidó, on Tuesday as they called for a military uprising aimed at toppling Mr Maduro.

He later sought refuge in the Spanish embassy after the uprising stalled.

Mr López claimed he had met generals who were committed to ending Mr Maduro's "usurpation" and helped him escape his house arrest.

"I had meetings in my house when I was under house arrest. I met there with commanders, with generals. I met there with representatives of specific parts of the armed forces and specific parts of the police forces," he said, adding he believed Mr Maduro's government would fall "in weeks".

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News