Venezuela's Constituent Assembly opens with arrests of opposition leaders
In the early hours of the morning, the regime of Nicolás Maduro has again arrested the opposition political leaders Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma, who had been transferred to their homes as a gesture of conciliation prior to the Constituent Assembly.
This Tuesday, during the early hours of the morning, agents of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin) of Venezuela arrested the opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma, who were under house arrest.
The information was confirmed by the families of the leaders, who published the images of the moment they were both forcibly removed from their homes, through their social networks.
"They have just taken Leopoldo from the house. We don’t know where he is or where he is being taken. Maduro is responsible if something happens to him," said Lilian Tintori, political activist and Lopez’ wife, through her Twitter account.
Similarly, opposition deputy Richard Blanco confirmed that Sebin had detained the former mayor of the Metropolitan District of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma.
For its part, the Venezuelan Supreme Court argued the measure, but without having presented any evidence, asserting that "both opponents planned to escape," and that was why they had revoked the house arrest they were in, according to the newspaper El País.
"Information was received by official intelligence sources that reported a plan to escape from those citizens, so that, with the urgency of the case, the corresponding safeguard procedures were activated," reads the statement published by EFE.
López and Ledezma were convicted for the violence unleashed during the civil protests in 2014, which Maduro's government cataloged as an attempted coup.
Antonio Ledezma was arrested in February 2015 and remained four months behind bars, until he was granted house arrest for health conditions.
Similarly, and after more than two years in prison, the Venezuelan regime also granted the house arrest to Leopoldo López just a couple of weeks ago, as a result of the mediation of former Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and former presidents Leonel Fernández (Dominican Republic) and Martín Torrijos (Panama).
This gesture of dialogue was raised as a prelude to the fraudulent elections held on Sunday, in which the Venezuelan regime simulated a democratic process to establish a Constituent Assembly in order to reform the Constitution drafted by the late Hugo Chavez in 1999, giving full powers to a handful of people, exclusively chavists.
The second strong man of Chavismo, Diosdado Cabello, together with the wife of Maduro, Cilia Flores and the former chancellor, Delcy Rodriguez, will lead the commission that will act as a new legislative body.
Many political leaders and national analysts have indicated that the arrest of López and Ledezma is the first step to consolidate an autocratic regime that ignores and annihilates the opposition movement, a scenario that has been warned by more than 40 countries in the world, who have rejected Maduro's constitutional process while considering it an "assault on democracy".