Washington’s favorite Venezuelan opposition leader exposes links with Colombian paramilitary and narco networks
While the US and its allies glorify Leopoldo López as a new MLK, the US-backed Venezuelan opposition collaborates with Colombia’s narco-affiliated, death squad-sponsoring former President Álvaro Uribe.
by Ben Norton
According to Western corporate media outlets and human rights groups, Venezuela’s far-right opposition leader Leopoldo López is a hallowed saint.
The New York Times glorified López as the would-be “savior” of Venezuela, akin to none other than Martin Luther King Jr., while Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have dubbed him a noble “prisoner of conscience” and “Venezuela’s most prominent political prisoner.”
The real Leopoldo López, however, has repeatedly shown himself to be a violent extremist committed to overthrowing Venezuela’s government no matter the cost. And the right-wing political opposition factions under his control have revealed links to drug trafficking, death squads, and organized crime in neighboring Colombia.
This December, López traveled to Colombia for a series of meetings and photo ops. He flew to the country’s border with Venezuela on a plane registered with a Florida-based company that had sold an aircraft to a Colombian who was busted for trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine in Honduras.
López proceeded to meet with far-right Colombian politicians who were closely connected to drug cartels and paramilitaries that have massacred civilians. His hosts included the notoriously corrupt former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez, and his handpicked successor, Iván Duque.
Colombia has helped support some of López’s radical right-wing regime-change plots, including an attempted invasion of Venezuela in May 2020.
While top officials demonize their neighbor’s elected Chavista government as a “dictatorship,” López’s meetings in Colombia took place after at least 86 massacres of human rights defenders in the country, resulting in the deaths of more than 290 social movement activists.