Venezuelan politician seeks asylum in Spain

Venezuelan politician seeks asylum in Spain Santa Fe Radio‏/Twitter

THE former Mayor of Caracas, Venezuela has sought out political asylum in Spain after fleeing the country.

Antonio Ledezma, 62, is the leader of Venezuelan opposition party Fearless People's Alliance and a fierce critique of President Nicolas Maduro.

Upon arriving in Spain, Ledezma initially claimed he did not intend to seek asylum.

However, spokesman for the Spanish government Iñigo Mendez de Vigo announced yesterday (Friday) that he had changed his mind.

Mendez de Vigo told reporters Ledezma had "asked for political asylum in Spain after spending three years in prison and under house arrest in his country."

The politician was arrested and jailed in February 2015  following accusations he was scheming to overthrow the president. In August this year he was put under house arrest.

Last week Ledezma fled the country, first escaping to Colombia, where he flew to Spain. His title of of metropolitan Mayor of Caracas was cancelled after it was revealed he had escaped house arrest.

Venezuela is currently in the midst of political and economic turmoil and Ledezma had often criticised Maduro for marginalising opposition forces and silencing independent media reports.

He claimed he had been informed a government plot against him, but has not given any further details.

Kat Ashton

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