Venezuela condemns Spain for harboring fugitive Mayor

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Venezuela condemns Spain for harboring fugitive Mayor

(TELESUR ENGLISH) – At dawn on Friday, former mayor of the Metropolitan District of Caracas Antonio Ledezma fled through Colombia, bound for Madrid, having escaped house arrest.

Venezuela has released a statement officially condemning the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy for harbouring fugitive opposition leader and former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Saturday that Venezuela rejects the move by Spanish President Rajoy, describing it as a continuation of “a long list of aggressions and interference committed against the people.”

The statement stressed that the Spanish government’s bid to protect what it described as extremist groups within the Venezuelan opposition “violates all the principles of international law.”

It concluded by condemning plans by extreme-right minority groups to sabotage efforts to promote peaceful dialogue between Venezuela’s main political parties, currently being spearheaded by President Nicolas Maduro.

In the statement, Arreaza called on Rajoy to “refrain from promoting actions that seek to undermine the peace of Venezuelans.”

Ledezma, meanwhile, said the Spanish president had told him to “feel like we are in our own home.” Posting on Twitter, he said: “I insisted that I will be the voice of all political prisoners, persecuted and exiled Venezuelans who suffer the injustices of the regime.”

At dawn on Friday, the former mayor of the Metropolitan District of Caracas fled through Colombia, bound for Madrid, having earlier escaped house arrest.

He was detained in 2015 on charges of conspiracy and conspiracy to commit a crime while under house arrest.

In 2014, while acting as Caracas metropolitan mayor, Ledezma had spearheaded street protests against President Maduro which led to months of violence and 43 deaths.

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