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Venezuela opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez’s prison sentence spurs calls for U.S. sanctions

Sep 29, 2015 | NOTICIAS

The sentencing of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López to nearly 14 years in prison for his involvement in the 2014 demonstrations against the regime of President Nicolás Maduro has elicited a host of negative responses from U.S. lawmakers critical to the government in Caracas.
Lawmakers from Florida, the state with the largest number of Venezuelan-American’s in the U.S., have called for new sanctions to be leveled against the judges, prosecutors and prison officials involved in what Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen called a “politically-motivated sentencing.”

On Friday, Florida senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio called his trial “a sham” and called on the Obama administration to act more aggressively toward the Maduro regime.
“The Venezuelan regime is robbing Leopoldo of his freedom, his wife of a husband, his kids of a father and the Venezuelan people of a leader committed to their democratic aspirations,” he said in a statement. “He deserves to be freed immediately and unconditionally.”
Rubio added, “The Obama administration has been flirting with rapprochement with the Venezuelan regime, and this decision should make clear it’s a foolish notion. The Obama administration has been moving too slowly on applying sanctions on human-rights violators in Venezuela, and now is the time to fully implement the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014.”

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