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Ear to the Ground

Venezuelan Hard-Liner Resurfaces as Maduro Expels U.S. Officials

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Posted on Feb 17, 2014

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. AP Photo/Alejandro Cegarra

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has appeared in a video asking his fellow citizens to join him in a march Tuesday to demand an end to a government crackdown that followed last week’s deadly protests.

The Guardian reports:

After the circulation of Lopez’s message, President Nicolas Maduro took to the airwaves to denounce US interference in Venezuelan sovereignty while vowing to apply the full weight of law to Lopez and his upcoming protest. He also said he had ordered the explusion of three US consular officials who, he said, had been conspiring against his government.

In a pre-recorded message, Lopez said he would demand that the interior minister acknowledge the state’s responsibility for Wednesday’s deaths. The former mayor of the Chacao municipality of Caracas also said he would present himself to authorities that have issued an order for his arrest.

“I will present myself. I have nothing to fear. I have committed no crime. I have been a Venezuelan with deep commitments towards my country and my people”, said Lopez in a three-minute video that circulated widely trough social media networks.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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