Leopoldo Lopez placed in home confinement for health reasons
Lopez imprisoned for allegedly inciting violence in protests
Lopez has left the Ramo Verde facility where he had been serving a 14-year sentence for allegedly inciting violence in a series of 2014 protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro, the court said on its Twitter feed, confirming earlier reports in Spanish newspapers. The release was a response to health issues, it said.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose conservative government had repeatedly called for his release, said he was “happy” to see Lopez reunited with his wife, Lilian Tintori, family and children in a tweet from his verified account. In February, U.S. President Donald Trump called for the “immediate” release of 46-year-old Lopez after a meeting with Tintori.
Tapping into popular unrest, Lopez ignited a wave of country-wide protests, known as “The Exit,” aimed at pressuring Maduro to resign. While it began as a peaceful protest, demonstrations dragged on for months after Lopez’s arrest, claiming dozens of lives and sparking a government crackdown. Political opponents and moderates within the opposition called the movement reckless and blamed Lopez, who denies wrongoing.