LEADER URGES ELECTORAL REBELLION
US demands release of Venezuela political prisoner Lopez
Socialist hardliner Nicolas Maduro warns the US of a 'firm response' after Trump and State Department back the release of Leopoldo Lopez
Caracas — Venezuela and the US locked horns again over political prisoners held by Caracas, including a jailed opposition leader whose supporters took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to demand his release. Hundreds of opposition supporters marched in Venezuela’s capital city, blocking one of the main highways in Caracas to protest against the imprisonment of Leopoldo Lopez. Lopez, in a letter he wrote in his cell read out to supporters, urged an electoral "rebellion" to press for general elections in the country mired in economic and political crisis. Referring to gubernatorial elections set for last December that were delayed and not yet rescheduled, Lopez called for a referendum on whether the presidential election set for 2018 should be held in 2017 instead. Supporters called for Venezuelans to press for change. "His only crime was to demonstrate nonviolently. Now more than 80% of Venezuelans want [President Nicolas] Maduro to leave power," said David Smolansky, mayor o...