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Venezuela's Lopez makes first public appearance under house arrest

Saturday, July 08, 2017 - 00:32

Venezuela's best-known jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez appeared behind a wall of his home in the capital Caracas on Sunday after being granted house arrest following three years' imprisonment. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NATURAL (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Venezuela's best-known jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez hugged his family and celebrated after being granted house arrest on Saturday following three years' imprisonment for leading anti-government protests. Hours after his pre-dawn transfer from a military jail, the 46-year-old Lopez appeared behind a wall of his home in the capital Caracas, waving the Venezuelan flag and punching the air before a crowd of supporters who cheered and cried upon seeing him. His surprise release, aided by international pressure, gave some rare cheer to Venezuela's opposition who have otherwise seen President Nicolas Maduro's government give few concessions in their demands for freedom of jailed activists, general elections and fixes for an economic crisis. Lopez, a photogenic, Harvard-educated former mayor and economist, would likely be a popular opposition presidential candidate if able to run in any future vote. He is serving a sentence of nearly 14 years. It was not clear, however, if his return home would materially weaken Maduro, who is plowing ahead with a plan to create a parliamentary superbody that will be able to rewrite the constitution and even dissolve state institutions.

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Venezuela's Lopez makes first public appearance under house arrest

Saturday, July 08, 2017 - 00:32