Correspondent in Bogotá
Leopoldo Lopez has always known how to move, even during his years of confinement, to keep alive the complaint against the Nicolás Maduro’s regime, for which he continues to be the main opposition leader against the Venezuelan Government.
On Wednesday, in another key movement that brought him from Madrid to Bogotá the day before, he met with the Colombian President Iván Duque, who received him at the Casa de Nariño on the day he presented the new National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights, on International Human Rights Day.
Then, without wasting time, in the early afternoon he gave a broad press conference in which López reiterated that there is a “desert of freedoms” in Venezuela, but insisted that there is “a vocation of hope, of struggle; we have to start again a cycle of mobilization »for which it has been called a popular consultation, which will be held in Colombia on December 12 and it would be one of the reasons for the leader’s presence in Bogotá.
This consultation mechanism convened by Juan Guaidó -Recognized by a large part of the international community as the president of Venezuela in his capacity as head of the National Assembly-, it happens after the legislative elections of last December 6, which were not attended by 70% of Venezuelans and have been unknown by the European Union, the United States, Great Britain and several Latin American countries. The planned scheme is for Venezuelans in Bogotá, Cúcuta, Cartagena and Cali to step up and vote for it. Lopez is expected to remain in Colombia until that date, to mobilize more than a million and a half of their compatriots living in Colombia, in addition to voting the convocation from Colombian territory.
Lopez, on the go
Leopoldo López did not spare thanks for the support of the Duque government and the Colombian people to the Venezuelans who have been forced to leave their country in order to survive due to the deep economic, social and human rights crisis to which the misgovernment has subjected them of Maduro.
And taking up the comment of President Duque, in the sense that the Colombian Government gave him security after the Maduro’s death threats to López, this confirmed the help of the Colombian Government for his escape, last October, but avoided giving more details of how he crossed the border on his way to his asylum in Spain: «I cannot reveal more details because I cannot put at risk the people who supported »And to avoid that tomorrow, if others require it, they can use it. And he pointed out that many of those who participated had to leave and are in Colombia, right there in the room where he was giving the press conference.
What seems clear is that there is a new mobilization key between López and Guaidó, this time with a Leopoldo abroad, mobilizing the diaspora and contacting governments, while Guaidó seeks mobilization inside. “This is an effort to conquer freedom,” López said, “and for free elections. In this fight, what we have to do is stay on our feet, and it may sound distant, but it is our turn. This struggle has been going on for many years, it has been one of cycles and now the challenge is to raise our spirits, hope, and our ability to organize again. We cannot let Venezuelan society become Cuban and stop fighting (…) and surrender as a people. That is why the call to Venezuelans here in Colombia and everywhere is to organize ourselves, to unify ourselves. At this moment we tell the world that we cannot alone, we need your help to end the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro ». In passing, he sent an important message: “We still open our arms to those who supported the dictatorship or continue to support it today.”
And no one better for the mobilization than Leopoldo López himself, who, with his quick verb, his media profile and an undoubted enthusiasm seeks to ignite, from cold Bogotá, a light of hope and the spark of resistance towards the action of all the Venezuelans to democratically dethrone – “with broad and verified elections” – the dictator.