Caracas [Venezuela], May 3 (ANI): Venezuelan politician and former political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez On Friday said that he met high-ranking members of the country's security services during his house arrest.
CNN quoted Lopez addressing reporters that senior members of the military supported the end of the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.
Lopez, who has been in detention amid allegations of arson and conspiracy since a series of mass protests in 2014, said he believed Maduro's government would fall "in weeks."
"I had meetings in my house when I was under house arrest. There I met with commanders, I met with generals. I met with representatives of specific parts of the armed forces and specific parts of the police forces," he said, without identifying the figures.
He added that the people he met with made a "commitment" to ending the "usurpation" of President Maduro. Opposition supporters refer to Maduro's continued hold on power as a "usurpation."
After months under house arrest, Lopez was released from prison on Tuesday (April 30), alongside his successor as leader of the opposition movement, Juan Guaido, who led a street-level uprising aimed at toppling Maduro.
The uprising faltered, having apparently failed to gain the support of senior members of the Venezuelan military, and Lopez took refuge in the residence of the Spanish ambassador to Venezuela.
Lopez claimed members of the military had assisted in his escape from house arrest, claiming they had pardoned him.
On Thursday, a court in Caracas issued a warrant for Lopez's arrest, declaring he had "flagrantly" violated his home detention. The court statement said that he should continue to serve a 13-year sentence imposed in 2014.
However, the Spanish government said it had "no intention" of surrendering Lopez. In a short statement issued on Thursday, the Spanish government also said Lopez, his wife and daughter were in the residence of the Spanish ambassador "of their own will."
"Spain trusts that the Venezuelan authorities will respect the inviolability of the Spanish Ambassador's residence," the statement added.
Lopez's house was raided on Wednesday night by "delinquents," his wife, Lilian Tintori, said on Thursday in a series of tweets accompanied by pictures.
No sabemos cual era la intensión, ya sabían que ni Leopoldo ni yo, ni mis hijos estábamos presentes. Yo ordenaré mi casa, porque es nuestro hogar, es donde viven nuestros hijos, si buscaban amedrentarnos aquí seguiremos de pie, firmes, como todos los venezolanos. pic.twitter.com/GBrVQLtDCY— Lilian Tintori (@liliantintori) May 2, 2019
Guaido, President of the National Assembly, who is recognised as Venezuela's interim president by more than 50 countries, including the United States, the UK, the European Union and others, has led the opposition to Maduro in recent years. However, Lopez has remained a key figure in the anti-Maduro opposition since his 2014 arrest on charges of inciting violence.
In 2015, he was jailed for nearly 14 years, a sentence that became a rallying cry for anti-regime demonstrators. In July 2017, authorities granted him house arrest due to concerns about his health. (ANI)