BOGOTA, Colombia – Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López walked out to the gate of Spain's diplomatic residence in Caracas Thursday. He stood in front of reporters, as his wife, Lilian Tintori, held the Venezuelan flag behind him.
Although the Venezuelan Supreme Court issued a warrant for his arrest and the secret police was on guard outside of the embassy, López said embattled President Nicolás Maduro's days in the presidential palace are numbered.
López said he remains hopeful that there are members of the Venezuelan military who will make sure of that.
It has been about five years since López was arrested over his political activism. Maduro's supporters who rule the department of justice blamed him for the deaths of protesters and he was convicted of inciting violence.
Human rights activists say Maduro's security forces and armed supporters are to blame for the deaths of protesters in 2014 and on Tuesday and Wednesday when at least four protesters died, including a 14-year-old boy who shot dead in Caracas.
López was on house arrest for about two years until Tuesday, when he joined his protégé, Juan Guaidó, for a military uprising rally near the Carlota air force base, where there was a fire. He was freed after the head of Venezuela's intelligence agency joined the opposition's efforts against Maduro.
After the rally, López, Tintori and their children were turned away from the Chilean diplomatic residence in Caracas and found refuge at Spain's diplomatic residence.