Spain to limit Leopoldo Lopez's political activity while at embassy in Caracas: acting FM

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-03 23:48:13|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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MADRID, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Acting Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said on Friday that his country will not allow Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to use the Spanish Embassy in Venezuela for political purposes.

Lopez is a close ally of Venezuela's National Assembly President Juan Guaidó, who had proclaimed himself as the interim president of the Latin American country.

Lopez took refuge in the Spanish Embassy in Caracas earlier this week after the apparent failure of an attempted military uprising against the government of Nicolas Maduro.

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation on Thursday published a statement explaining that Lopez and his wife and youngest daughter had been admitted to the embassy as "guests" and that Lopez had not "applied for (political) asylum."

Spain also commented that its embassy "cannot be accessed by any person or authority that has not been previously authorized by the (Spanish) Government," adding that "under no circumstances, Leopoldo Lopez shall be handed over to the Venezuelan authorities, nor shall he be evicted from the Ambassador's Residence."

However, Lopez will not be allowed to use the Spanish Embassy in Caracas to organize opposition to Maduro.

"Spain will not permit its embassy to be converted into to a center for the opposition of political activity by Mr Lopez, or anyone else," said Borrell from the Lebanon, where he is attending a conference in Beirut.

Venezuelan judges have ordered the arrest of Lopez after he joined in an attempted coup and violated his house arrest on Tuesday.

Federica Mogherini, high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said on Tuesday in a statement that "We reiterate that there can only be a political, peaceful and democratic way out for the multiple crises the country is facing."

"The EU rejects any form of violence and calls for utmost restraint to avoid the loss of lives and an escalation of tensions," she added.

"We will continue to spare no efforts to achieve a reinstatement of democracy and rule of law, through free and fair elections, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution," Mogherini noted, adding "The European Union firmly stands with the Venezuelan people and its legitimate democratic aspirations."