Skip to main content

The violent past of Leopoldo Lopez, poster boy for the Venezuelan opposition

This week saw Leopoldo Lopez, a so-called “revolutionary” and major figure in Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, released from prison to house arrest due to “health concerns.” Though celebrated by foreign media, Lopez has a history of inciting fatally violent protests.

by Whitney Webb

Part 2 - The Leopoldo López the press doesn’t want you to meet

López often receives praise in the Western press as a “prisoner of conscience” and “fiery leader.” Newsweek once glowingly wrote of his “twinkling chocolate-colored eyes and high cheekbones,” calling him a “revolutionary who has it all.” The Spanish newspaper El País has even called him the Venezuelan Nelson Mandela. Many news outlets have called him a likely future president of Venezuela. However, López’s political history suggests that he is hardly the man of the people and political martyr that he is made out to be.

López was born into the upper echelon of the Venezuelan elite. A direct descendant of the 19th-century liberator turned dictator Simón Bolívar and Venezuela’s first president Cristóbal Mendoza, López’s family hails from a long line of Venezuelan political aristocracy.

He was sent to the U.S. to complete his education in elite institutions such as the Hun School of Princeton, a private boarding school whose alumni include Saudi princes, as well as the children of U.S. presidents and Fortune 500 CEOs. From there, he attended Kenyon College in Ohio and then Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Some journalists have asserted that López began a relationship with the CIA while at Kenyon.

Also while studying in the U.S., López co-founded the group Primero Justicia (Justice First) in 1992, which later became a political party of central importance in right-wing Venezuelan politics.

López, upon his return to Venezuela in 1996, did not immediately jump into politics, instead taking a lucrative job as an analyst at the semi-privatized Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), where he worked until 1999. During this time, he and his mother – who also worked at the company – funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Primero Justicia – an illegal act under Venezuelan corruption laws.

This corruption scandal, however, did not come to light until years later, when a 2007 investigation exposed the wrongdoing and barred López from holding political office for several years.

After leaving his job at PDVSA, López made his entry into Venezuelan politics in 2000 and was elected mayor of Chacao, a Caracas district known to be one of the wealthiest areas in all of Venezuela. Two years later, López began visiting Washington, D.C. rather frequently “to visit the IRI (International Republican Institute) headquarters and meet with officials from the George W. Bush administration,” according to journalist Eva Golinger.

The IRI is one of three foundations comprising the National Endowment for Democracy, a U.S. government-funded NGO linked to countless regime change efforts abroad, including Egypt (2013) and Ukraine (2014). The institute is currently chaired by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ).

The IRI, along with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), has also directly funded the party López began, Primero Justicia, as well as his current political party Voluntad Popular, which López founded in 2010.

In 2002, while still serving as mayor, López participated directly in the U.S.-backed coup attempt aimed at removing democratically elected President Hugo Chávez from power. López specifically participated in the illegal detention of then-Minister of the Interior and Justice Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, as well as violent attacks against Caracas’ Cuban Embassy that saw a group of protesters try to violently enter the building. When they could not force their entry, they cut off water and electricity to the building and smashed windows and vehicles.

Chávez pardoned López for his role in the coup in 2007 and López was only barred from holding political office from 2008 to 2014 following the revelation of his past corrupt dealings at PDVSA, as well as the discovery of his misuse of public funds while mayor.

In the years since, López has tried to distance himself from the 2002 coup attempt, which remains very unpopular with Venezuelans on both sides of the political spectrum. López’s attorneys claimed in 2014 that “at no point was López ever a proponent of the coup, nor was he allied with the business leaders who led it,” despite the fact that there is video evidence showing him participating in the kidnapping of Chacín or the fact that his own father, Leopoldo López Gil, was a business leader who signed a decree suspending the Venezuelan constitution that had been issued by the short-lived coup government.

Source, links:


[1] [3] [4]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trump's "brigades" are ready to start a civil war in case he loses November's election

globinfo freexchange
Signs show an extremely explosive situation now in the America of Donald Trump. 
Starting with the murder of George Floyd, we witness almost in daily basis some very disturbing incidents, which unveil a deeply divided society that was hiding for decades behind the "American dream" facade. As the facade now rapidly collapses, due to a major financial crisis and a pandemic, in less than fifteen years, the reality looks terrifying.
In a latest incident, Common Dreamsreported that members of a far right militia group were arrested Monday evening in Albuquerque after a standoff at a statue of a notoriously brutal conquistador in the New Mexico city turned violent with a demonstrator advocating for the removal of the monument shot and sent to the hospital.
As dusk fell, demonstrators began attempting to pull the monument down from its pedestal on the Albuquerque Museum grounds. At that point, members of the New Mexico Civil Guard militia group moved in, attack…

Αντίο δημόσια, δωρεάν παιδεία ...

globinfo freexchange
Μετά τα σχέδια για ιδιωτικοποίηση του νερού, το Μητσοτακικό καθεστώς ετοιμάζεται να ισοπεδώσει με το νεοφιλελεύθερο "οδοστρωτήρα" και τη δημόσια παιδεία.
Από τη χθεσινή ομιλία Κεραμέως στη βουλή, το μόνο που χρειάζεται να κρατήσετε είναι η εξής φράση:
                        Εμείς, λοιπόν, κάνουμε πράξη τη δέσμευσή μας, για πανεπιστήμια πιο ελεύθερα και αυτόνομα. Για πανεπιστήμια, τα οποία μπορούν να ρυθμίζουν τα του οίκου τους.

Όταν ακούτε έννοιες όπως "ελευθερία", "αυτονομία" και "αυτορρύθμιση", να βγαίνουν από στόματα φανατικών νεοφιλελεύθερων, όπως των στελεχών της κυβέρνησης Μητσοτάκη, να ετοιμάζεστε για ιδιωτικοποιήσεις, ξεπουλήματα και όλες τις επακόλουθες συμφορές. 
Πίσω από τα ωραία λόγια της Κεραμέως, κρύβονται οι αληθινές προθέσεις του καθεστώτος και για τον τομέα της παιδείας. Δηλαδή, σταδιακή ιδιωτικοποίηση των δημόσιων πανεπιστημίων και τελειωτικό χτύπημα στη δημόσια, δωρεάν παιδεία.
Απ'ότι φαίνεται και μ…

Protests against police violence expand in Europe

RT America
It began in Minneapolis but has since spread across the US, and now the world. The death of George Floyd has sparked protests against police brutality and chants of Black Lives Matter. Former UK MP George Galloway and Pulitzer prize-winning  journalist and host of On Contact Chris Hedges join In Question to discuss.

Exclusive images from inside British court expose Assange’s un-democratic treatment, physical deterioration

Photographs surreptitiously taken inside a British courtroom and provided to The Grayzone show a visibly disoriented Julian Assange confined to a glass cage and unable to communicate with his lawyers.
by Max Blumenthal
Part 4 - Assange’s hearing postponed, his isolation extended
The Belmarsh supermax prison where Assange has been held is regarded as the UK’s version of the US facility at Guantanamo. Aside from Assange, the jail is home to mafia henchmen, al-Qaeda members, and neo-fascist enforcers like Tommy Robinson. Around 20 percent of prisoners in Belmarsh are murderers, and two-thirds have committed a violent crime.
117 licensed medical professionals from around the world have written to the British and Australian governments to condemn “the torture of Assange,” “the denial of his fundamental right to appropriate health care,the climate of fear surrounding the provision of health care to him” and “the violations of his right to doctor–patient confidentiality.
Since the doctors’ …

Η κυβέρνηση Μητσοτάκη ετοιμάζει το μεγάλο ξεπούλημα του νερού

globinfo freexchange
Ήταν θέμα χρόνου. Η ιδιωτικοποίηση του νερού δεν θα μπορούσε να ξεφύγει από τα νύχια των νεοφιλελεύθερων αρπακτικών της κυβέρνησης Μητσοτάκη, η οποία φαίνεται να έχει ξεκινήσει τις υπόγειες διαδικασίες για ακόμα ένα μεγάλο ξεπούλημα στους ιδιώτες. Και μάλιστα, το ξεπούλημα του πολυτιμότερου αγαθού που θα έπρεπε να είναι ελεύθερο και δημόσιο.
Όπως αναφέρεται σε ρεπορτάζ του tvxs.gr:

Την ιδιωτικοποίηση μέσω σύμπραξης δημοσίου και ιδιωτικού δικαίου (ΣΔΙΤ) όλου του εξωτερικού υδροδοτικού συστήματος της Αττικής φαίνεται πως μεθοδευει η κυβέρνηση, προκαλώντας έντονες αντιδράσεις εκ μέρους των εργαζομένων της ΕΥΔΑΠ κι όχι μόνο. 
[...]
«Στην ουσία απομειώνεται την περιουσία της ΕΥΔΑΠ, καθώς της παίρνουν από τα χέρια όλα αυτά τα υδάτινα αποθέματα. Δεν είναι εύκολο να έρθει μια εταιρεία μικρή και να τα διαχειριστεί όλα αυτά. Δεν ξέρω κατά πόσο, παίρνοντας από την ΕΥΔΑΠ, θα διασφαλιστεί η αδιάλειπτη παροχή νερού στην Αττική» σημειώνει μιλώντας στο tvxs ο εκπρόσωπος…

New court files expose Sheldon Adelson’s security team in US spy operation against Julian Assange

An exclusive investigation by The Grayzone reveals new details on the critical role Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands played in an apparent CIA spying operation targeting Julian Assange, and exposes the Sands security staff who helped coordinate the malicious campaign.
by Max Blumenthal
I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole.

–Mike Pompeo, College Station, TX, April 15, 2019
Part 7 - A CIA front in Chinese territory?
By the time of the lawsuit, Adelson’s company appeared to have been working closely with the CIA. A confidential 2010 report by a private investigator contracted by the gambling industry pinpointed Adelson’s casino in Macau as a front for Agency operations against China. 
A reliable source has reported that central Chinese government officials firmly believe that Sands has permitted CIA/FBI agents to operate from within its facilities. These agents apparently ‘monitor mainland government officials’ who gamble in the casinos,” it stated. 
Previously detail…

Pentagon war game includes scenario for military response to domestic Gen Z rebellion

by Nick Turse
In the face of protests composed largely of young people, the presence of America’s military on the streets of major cities has been a controversial development. But this isn’t the first time that Generation Z — those born after 1996 — has popped up on the Pentagon’s radar.
Documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act reveal that a Pentagon war game, called the 2018 Joint Land, Air and Sea Strategic Special Program, or JLASS, offered a scenario in which members of Generation Z, driven by malaise and discontent, launch a “Zbellion” in America in the mid-2020s.
The Zbellion plot was a small part of JLASS 2018, which also featured scenarios involving Islamist militants in Africa, anti-capitalist extremists, and ISIS successors. The war game was conducted by students and faculty from the U.S. military’s war colleges, the training grounds for prospective generals and admirals. While it is explicitly not a national intelligence estimate, the war game, …

Independent autopsy concludes George Floyd's death was a homicide

The Real News Network
An independent autopsy released by Floyd's family raises serious questions about the previous findings, which implied underlying health issues were responsible for his death. Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht says police should never place downward pressure on a person in a prone position.

Σκάνδαλο Novartis: Λοβέρδος, Πατούλης, Στουρνάρας στο μικροσκόπιο του FBI από το 2017

Σε "αυτοχειρία" εξελίσσεται η επιλογή του Ιωάννη Αγγελή να διαβιβάσει στη Βουλή αναφορές του FBI για την υπόθεση Νovartis, από το υλικό που έχει υπεξαιρέσει από το γραφείο της Εισαγγελέως Διαφθοράς Ελένης Τουλουπάκη. 
Τα εγγραφα των αμερικανικών αρχών, που κατατέθηκαν από τον Αντιεισαγγελέα του Αρείου Πάγου την Τετάρτη, διέρρευσαν στο  τύπο και  πιστοποιούν την ουσία του σκανδάλου Novartis, δηλαδή το συστηματικό χρηματισμό γιατρών και πολιτικών προσώπων και τις μεθόδους με τις οποίες η Novartis αναλάμβανε να αυξήσει τις τιμές και τα έσοδα από συγκεκριμένα projects σκευασμάτων όπως το Lucentis, το Exactly ή το Ηarvard Project. 
Τα έγγραφα δείχνουν ακριβώς τη διαδικασία εξαγοράς γιατρών καθώς και τις μεθόδους που χρησιμοποιούσαν με τους κυβερνητικούς αξιωματούχους αλλά περιγράφει με λεπτομέρειες και τον τρόπο με τον οποίο διάφορες εταιρίες επικοινωνίας και ΜΜΕ αναλάμβαναν να "ξεπλένουν" μαύρο χρήμα μέσω εικονικών τιμολογήσεων, όπως το γκρουπ του Μαυρίκου, του Βουλκί…

Rioters clash with police, fires set near White House as protests escalate

The Hill
Protests near the White House escalated on Sunday amid the continued fallout from the killing of George Floyd, with images on social media showing multiple fires and scenes of rowdy crowds even as a citywide curfew had been imposed.
Sunday night saw the third straight day of protests in the nation's capital following the release of a video last week showing a white police officer in Minneapolis kneeling on the neck of the 46-year-old Floyd, an unarmed black man. Floyd died in police custody shortly after the video was taken.
His death has sparked increasingly violent protests across the country, from Los Angeles to New York, and has led Minnesota officials to charge the police officer in the video, Derek Chauvin, with third-degree murder manslaughter.