February 18, 2016

Cardin Renews Calls for Release of Venezuelan Opposition Leader Leopoldo López

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the 2nd anniversary of the detention of Leopoldo López.

                                                                                                                                                                                          

“Today marks two long and unacceptable years since Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López was unjustly imprisoned for speaking out in defense of democracy and human rights in his country.  His arrest, one-sided trial, and the gross mistreatment he and visiting family receive at the Ramo Verde military prison are nothing less than a travesty of justice and a constant reminder of the deterioration of fundamental freedoms in Venezuela.

“While Mr. López continues to languish unjustly in prison, I stand in solidarity with his family and loved ones.  The Venezuelan Government’s appalling efforts to intimidate, harass, and abuse his family members — including his courageous wife and mother — are an affront to human dignity and must cease.

“As Venezuela’s National Assembly advances legislation that would provide amnesty to the country’s political prisoners, I join the international community in calling for its swift passage.  Releasing Leopoldo López and all political prisoners in the country is a necessary first step toward resolving Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.”

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