CARACAS,(Pakistan Point News - APP -22nd Augst,2016) - The wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez said late Sunday that her husband had received a death threat from prison guards. Lopez, one of leftist President Nicolas Maduro's most hardline opponents, was arrested in February 2014 amid a wave of anti-government protests that swept Venezuela and left 43 people dead. He is serving a 14-year sentence at a military prison.
According to Lopez's wife Lilian Tintori, a sergeant "said in front of other guards that Leopoldo needed to be killed and if they gave him the order, he would do it himself." Lopez asked the man why he said that, "and the sergeant answered that he was only following orders from above," Tintori said in a video posted on her Twitter account. Tintori said that she has asked for an "urgent" meeting with Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez to discuss "what is going on" at the Ramo Verde military prison on the outskirts of Caracas.
Lopez has repeatedly declared himself innocent of the crime for which he was convicted -- inciting violence at the 2014 anti-government protests. The 45-year-old US-educated economist's sentence was upheld in the court of appeals on August 12. The sentence, handed down after a closed-door trial, was strongly condemned by the United Nations, the United States and the European Union. Once-booming Venezuela, home to the world's largest oil reserves, is gripped by a recession that has contributed to severe shortages of food, medicine and basic goods that have triggered violence and looting. The opposition is trying to force a referendum to recall Maduro from office, blaming him for the crisis and mishandling the state-led economy.