Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.
Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.
Details: Both his party and Spain's Ministry of Exterior confirmed his departure but would not be drawn on his whereabouts. But his father, Leopoldo López Sr., a member of the European Parliament for Spain's conservative opposition Popular Party told AFP he's on his way to Spain. He's expected to arrive there Sunday.
- His father said López had fled the residence a couple of days ago before crossing the border to Colombia Friday.
- It's unclear how López managed to evade the heavy security outside the residence, AP notes.
What they're saying: "After seven years of persecution and unjust imprisonment inside Venezuela, Leopoldo López is still not totally free, like all Venezuelans, so long as there exists a dictatorship that violates the human rights of the people," the Popular Will party said in its statement.
- Guaidó posted a tweet directed at Maduro, saying "evading your repressive apparatus, we managed to get" López into another location, from where his fight against the regime continues.
Flashback: The most important political prisoner in Latin America