Leopoldo López turned himself in (Updated + Info on Valencia)


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Two days after announcing it in a video message, Leopoldo López surrendered himself to the National Guard today in Caracas. After the march he called for was stopped by a heavy presence of both National Police officers and the National Guard, Lopez arrived at noon and then, he quickly addressed the large crowd. Then, he went to the National Guard soldiers waiting nearby and he was inmediately taken into custody.

According to this report by State TV channel VTV, he will be transferred to an undisclosed location outside Caracas. The overall media coverage of this event was kept to a bare minimum by domestic television channels.

Meanwhile, there’s a rally of PDVSA workers in Caracas, quickly organized (and mobilized) by Rafael Ramirez.

UPDATE: Leopoldo López will stay in Caracas tonight, as he will be formally presented in court tomorrow. The judge sent him to Ramo Verde Military Prison. National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello escorted Lopez inside the Justice Palace for some reason.

In Valencia, the protest held in Cedeño Avenue was attacked by gunfire. Eight people are reported wounded.


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  1. I for one hope this doesn’t mean going back to inactivity.

    Can any of you guys see chavistas (chavistas de cepa), those who’d probably watch reruns of La Hojilla, sympathazing with Henrique Capriles? These guys make fun of Capriles’ standpoint of respect and patience towards the government, they don’t show sympathy. And the Chavista group that does, is barely even noticeable.

    I fail to see how there’s a way out without getting rid of the government. Does anyone really expect Maduro/Cabello to make amends and go “Well, we’re gonna start governing properly now. Sorry everyone! We’re just really stubborn, let’s start over!”

    Come on. Shows like Zurda Konducta are on TV. Show’s like Con El Mazo Dando. How do we align with people who constantly feed off of this crap? We’ve tried. That’s what 7O was about. That’s what 14A was about, to some degree. Hell, that’s what Henrique Capriles is still all about.

    Here’s where I beg the question: “cuanta mayoria es suficiente mayoria?” Let’s assume that in the near future Maduro loses support from chavista core bases, let’s assume that “los cerros bajan.” How is that different from now? Maduro knows he doesn’t have the popular support Chavez had. That didn’t stop him from practically blackmailing the million or so chavistas that voted against him on 14A. That wouldn’t stop him from oppressing chavistas like he oppresses opositores now.

    Call me a radical, call me a pessimist, but Capriles’ strategy won’t prevent a scenario similar to Syria: it will only delay it. We can’t forget what the government is capable of. They’re not malos, they’re MALO malos.

  2. Aside from a desire to be a potential martyr, I do not see the rationale behind this. In a predictable and more or less rationale regime, the outcome would be somewhat expected. I can see nothing positive coming from this and once he disappears into the Sistema Rojo, despite his high profile, what’s to keep the government from encouraging an “accident” as a means of sending a message to other government opponents? Yes, it would lead to more street rallies and protests, but I’m not sure that the public is sufficiently antagonized to launch masses into the streets sufficient to bring #LaSalida.

    As far as “Meanwhile, there’s a rally of PDVSA workers in Caracas, quickly organized (and mobilized) by Rafael Ramirez.” goes…

    One of my employees was telling me yesterday that his brother in Maracaibo, a PDVSA employee, was forcibly bussed to Caracas for these rallies. His wife was in tears and terrified of what would happen to him there, so why did he go? He was told he’d be fired and jailed for not going. Apparently not supporting the revolution is now a crime.

    • I’m not too sure about this theory but hear me out. Leopoldo is putting the ball in Maduro’s court, Maduro needs to make some tough decisions. Inevitably, there will be arguments within chavismo about what to do with Leopoldo, lock him up for good, convict him of something minor, let him go, etc. and we know Maduro lacks any leadership, so this decision making process is going to worsen any cracks within chavismo.

      Which leads me to anither point: It’s not just the oppo who is looking carefully at Maduro’s weakness, so are sectors within chavismo. And i bet there’s quite a few people who think, yo lo haría mejor que él.

    • i agree, being morally right doesnt guarantee success. in any case LL and MCM proved that the hypothesis of a matazon by the army if we take the streets is wrong. bravo leopoldo y mariacorina, proceres.

  3. The picture is an icon. Chavismo will have to live with that self inflicted propaganda wound forever.

    If Chavistas are smart, they’ll let him go home tonight, if they are really dumb and want to create ‘Mandela in alpargatas’, make him sit with Simonovis.

    And then again, Chavismo has to deal with gas prices, scarcity, insecurity…

    • Focusing in likely future scenarios, Lopez played a smart, very smart game. That the regime will crack is just a question of time – Quico is right in assuming that it needs no outside help to go down the hill for good. When it happens, who will have more political capital to display ? People love ‘heroes’ who “sacrifice” their own liberty for them (never forget HCF regarding this tactic). This picture will make unbeatable political campaign tool.

    • “And then again, Chavismo has to deal with gas prices, scarcity, insecurity…”

      Va pues chico, te vas a poner con esas burgueserias ahora? Este si es malcriado, vale.


      • But risk showing weakness in front of their supporters? I find that unlikely. For all the effort Maduro went through in branding Capriles a murderer in the last protests and not taking penal action against him in the end, some hardcore chavistas must have been left scratching their heads, but it didn’t raise too much questions. This time they have uno de los mejmesemos trilogiantes der mal in custody, I think the spotlight is too focused on them to just drop the ball like that again.

  4. The international community should denounce the human rights abuses of this regime and it should do it firmly and do it now.

    Maduro and company have no shame, and they have shown that they have no limits.

    A clear message should be sent that they are accountable for this, and for other well-documented abuses. The days of treating Venezuela like some grand and exotic political experiment led by a benevolent autocrat should have ended long ago and regional leaders have got to step up. It is in their interest to be clear now. The two-faced game isn’t going to work any more. We can all see the images.

    • Peruvian political parties have invited Capriles to come to Peru. I believe that he and others will arrive on Friday. This will give Lopez some cover. And there is alot of dislike for Chavismo in Lima. Peruvians do not want Chavismo to take root in their country. Unlike President Humala, many, many Peruvians care about their country remaining democratic.

    • …international community..? So tonight I checked CNN, MSNBC, NPR, BBC, German, Italian, French, and Spanish newspapers and this is no news. Why? What is going on in Ukraine? 9+ death, violent clashes. It makes the events from the last few days in Venezuela look like child’s play . The order of magnitude of events in Ukraine, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Kosovo were too large for the world to ignore. I’m sorry, as sad as it is, it doesn’t make enough noise for anyone to pay attention. Leopoldo’s action represents the lighting of a candle. It is up to each Venezuelan to take this light and lit his/her own. When enough candles are lit, the world will start paying attention. Pero, coño, hacen falta muchas candelitas!

  5. This is a dirty war. Government-backed colectivos are allowed to shoot and kill the opposition, knowing that they will not be arrested. Meanwhile opposition leaders are being rounded up.

  6. LL is a hero with guts.A Hero is a role model. They are people who contribute significantly to their community or our world in general, and inspire us to achieve more… In essence, I suppose people that aspire to guide a group of people to a higher level, a brighter future.

    A Hero might be a fearless warrior or someone who leads his nation to greatness or to overcome a dictator .People tend to imitate those they admire so it is an emotional appeal we are looking at here.

    When the indifferent masses have a good role model things can start moving.

    Rational ideas are good for planning,but people need leaders who are role models to inspire them, and start the ball rolling.

  7. Just curious….what is to gain from these mass violent protests? Do they believe Maduro will just give up and renounce? If he does what does the constitution say? Who takes over? It’s not like the government will say ok we give up here you go…take over from us..you guys are right, here you go Leopoldo. The next presidential election isn’t until 2019/2020 and the revocatorio can’t be held if held until 2016. So the protesters chanting for Maduro to renounce are either naive or they are calling/wanting a coup D’etat.

      • No….ok sorry. The protests that have been violent then. The protests that have turned out violent then. Or just about the protests in general. I am just curious to ask…

        • Chamo, vete para Ultimas Noticias or the Devils Excrement y analiza el reportaje sobre las muertes. There’s your answer. Use your brain. Don’t ask us for answers to your silly questions because you are too lazy or are you playing us? You sound like a shill

          • ok thanks for your great answers. I only wanted to know if you or the protesters believe Maduro will just give up? I want to know what the protesters want in the end. You as I am sure most Venezuelans really want is security, to be able to buy the basic foods, have a decent life, work and play. But would other forms of protests not be better? Maybe economic protests like boycotting certain things? Taxes or don’t fill up gasoline for a day. I don’t know.

          • Not filling up gas is the worst protest ever. It would free up resources so the government has more money.

            Overconsumption of gas, on the other hand… It would bleed PDVSA. But Venezuelans already do this, hence the hard currency crisis. We use gas to clean oil from motor parts, to clean paint, we drive around the block continually while someone else does an errand, because it’s easier than looking for a parking spot more than a block away.

            If you’re just recently diving into Venezuelan politics… You’d benefit from reading some old posts, even you skip the comments.

        • You mean the protests that have been repressed by SEBIN agents, PNB, and the paramilitary groups known as “colectivos”, like 12F when they killed two students and one of their own?

          Or the ones where they take students, rob them, kidnap them, torture them or sexually abuse them?

          Because I don’t see much of those so called “violent” protests, yet I see plenty of violent repression of students.

          • I obviously worded my questions wrong. What will be the outcome of the protests and the violence that has resulted. Violence from the government, colectivos, or anyone. How will this be good for the country? There is a majority fed up with the situation in the country (violence and the need for basic products even non basic products at reasonable prices) but continue to work everyday and to hope for a better tomorrow. My question was, since I don’t know what the constitution says, who would be next in line if Maduro were to step down?

          • Mundo, since you have such an inquiring mind, I suggest you read The National Enquierer. Oh, you live in Merida? No National Enquierer for you!

          • Next in line after Maduro?
            – The presidentially appointed Vicepresident Jorge Arreaza. One of Chavez’ sons in law.
            – President of National Assembly, Diosdado.Cabello.

            How will this be good for the country?

            It just is. Students got fed up of being crime victims even on campus. So they protested for more security. They got repressed. People joined in asking for the release of the students, more security and more food, etc. They repression doubled down an there were deaths and other human rights violations. Then the government pressed charges on LL, and he turned himself in.

            The governement scalated this. People don’t want to just take it.

          • These are perfectly legitimate questions. Protests should have an attainable goal, and Maduro stepping down is just a fantasy. You should know better than to ridicule those who ask questions that are beyond your apparent state of mind.

    • Amazing how democratic, constitutional and peaceful the Chavistas get for international PR purposes. Typical cowardly behavior. Today Maduo was brandishing his fake democratic credentials. Come out of the closet please. Don’t waste our time with silly questions.

  8. watched the entire thing on NTN24 live feed (which just went down).

    La Patilla did a good job posting timely pics.. whole thing very emotional. When he addressed the crowd and his wife bid him farewell… Leo has bigger cojones bigger than anyone in the regime. God bless him.

    Anyone know of another live video news feed?

  9. Lopez best justification for turning himself in is that he just disarmed Maduro and announced his innocence in one motion. Maduro cannot have a public trial for Lopez because Maduro will lose what little credibility he has left. Lopez also became a martyr which is a title the corrupt revolutionary Chavistas want reserved for themselves. Maduro cannot keep Lopez in prison for long–the protests and international repercussions will give him bad press.

    The Cubans will be working overtime on this one.

    Spending time in prison seems to be a prerequisite to lawfully elected leaders in Venezuela.

  10. Miss Turismo Carabobo 2013 shot in the head today while marching in Valencia:

    Génesis Carmona (22), estudiante de Mercadeo en la Universidad Tecnológica del Centro (Unitec), presentó una herida en el cráneo y se encuentra en la Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos (ICI). El periodista de Venevisión, Randolfo Blanco, informó en Twitter que Carmona estaría consciente y habría hablado. Carmona es además modelo y Miss Turismo Carabobo 2013.

  11. Ameliach is a thug, and he needs to answer for his crimes. He sent those motorizados malandros that attacked the protests in AV. Cedeño in Valencia.

  12. Two more updates, maybe worth a post:

    The government may have issued an arrest warrant against Carlos Vecchio, who I think is second in command in VP. The illegal search against VP offices, the arrest of LL and this are making it look like something is in motion against VP. http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/dictan-orden-de-captura-contra-carlos-vecchio.aspx

    Scarano is saying the paramilitary groups, known as Colectivos, that attacked the protest in Valencia are using a GNB base as their HQ http://www.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/noticias/actualidad/politica/denuncian-que-colectivos-despachan-desde-la-sede-d.aspx

  13. Colombian journos and politicians are debating right now. One of them said “you just need to turn on your TV to see the magnitude of the situation”. Somebody tell him that’s a luxury right now in Venezuela

  14. Theatrics and smell of hero/caudillo antics aside, I truly hope LL and his people have planned this through, several moves ahead. Knowing how our collective memory works, if they demobilise now the only one remembering LL in jail will be Lilian Tintori. Sad but true.

    That being said…what a show. Masterful move, brincada de lomo olimpica a Capriles. If we must follow a sort-of-messianic leader, I think we could do much worse than him.


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