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Venezuelan rebel leader goes to Spanish embassy to seek refuge

López on Tuesday.
López on Tuesday. / EFE
  • Leopoldo López hasn't claimed asylum and is staying as a "guest"

The uprising in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro this week has put the Spanish government in an awkward position as a main opposition leader arrived in its Caracas embassy to seek refuge.

Leopoldo López was freed from jail by rebels in the early hours of Tuesday and, after brief appearances around the city with rebel troops, made his way to the embassy when it became clear that the bulk of the military would not back a rebellion. López hasn't claimed asylum and is staying as a "guest", it was said.

Spain, like many countries, has been calling for an end to Maduro's regime that has brought economic hardship to Venezuela. Deputy prime minister, Carmen Calvo, said this week that Spain wants to see peaceful regime change, distancing the government from the violence.