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Venezuelan Police Storm House of Leopoldo López Hours After NYT Profile


The Venezuelan secret police (Sebin) stormed the house of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo López hours after the New York Times ran a major profile of him, his wife Lilian Tintori has confirmed.

“Sebin has entered our house and they remain here, without our consent.” Tintori tweeted. “This is another action from this dictatorship! The guards should have to stay OUTSIDE the house”:

“It is illegal and inhumane for Sebin to be inside our home with weapons, in the presence of our three children,” she continued. “It violates our right to privacy, it constitutes breaking and entering and it damages the rights of our children”:

López remains the most prominent opposition leader imprisoned by the regime on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime through street protests he organized in 2014, as well as delinquency, arson, vandalism, incitement to violence, and domestic terrorism.

He currently remains under house arrest, having been repeatedly placed in and out of the Ramo Verde Prison by the regime’s security forces while serving his 13-year sentence:

The raid came hours after the New York Times published a piece profiling the prisoner of conscience in which he describes how security forces have tried to prevent him from speaking to the media.

“Our Constitution and international norms establish that the domestic home is inviolable, the right to protection of the family,” López’s lawyer Juan Carlos Gutierrez said at a press conference. “Under no circumstances can a home be raided by an authority unless there is a court warrant.”

According to Tintori, Lopez is watched 24 hours a day and has an electronic tag on his ankle. Authorities fear he will try to flee the country in a similar way to the rightful mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, who escaped to Spain last November:

López, who remains one of the most popular and recognizable figures in Venezuelan politics, is also one of the numerous opposition politicians banned from running in the upcoming presidential election, widely expected to be rigged in Maduro’s favor.

The New York Times has published op-eds from Tintori and López in the past, calling for greater international attention to the regime’s numerous human rights abuses. The newspaper has, however, also reportedly taken hundreds of thousands of dollars to publish propaganda leaflets accusing the Trump administration of planning a military invasion.

The newspaper previously defended their advertising policy to Breitbart News, stating that the company “accepts advertisements in which groups or individuals comment on a public or controversial issue” but refused to comment on whether the Venezuelan government ads crossed any ethical boundaries.

You can follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at


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