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Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Seized From Homes

Relatives say they were taken away by state agents
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 1, 2017 3:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – Allies of two Venezuelan opposition leaders say Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma have been taken by authorities from the homes where they were under house arrest. Video posted by Lopez's wife early Tuesday shows a man being taken away from a Caracas home by state security agents, the AP reports. Wife Lilian Tintori says in a tweet that "they've just taken Leopoldo from the house. We don't know where he is." Lopez was detained three years after protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government and sentenced to more than a decade in prison on charges that include inciting protesters to violence. He was released last month to serve the rest of his term under house arrest.

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Ledezma, a former Caracas mayor, was also detained in 2015 and has been under house arrest. Earlier, Maduro brushed off new US sanctions on him and condemnation at home and abroad of the newly chosen constitutional assembly, saying the vote has given him a popular mandate to radically overhaul Venezuela's political system and go after his enemies. "They don't intimidate me. The threats and sanctions of the empire don't intimidate me for a moment," Maduro said on national television. "I don't listen to orders from the empire, not now or ever ... Bring on more sanctions, Donald Trump." (Read more Venezuela stories.)

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