Lopez’s release after months of turmoil raises hopes for talks in Venezuela


CARACAS: Venezuela hit its 100th day of anti-government protests Sunday, amid uncertainty over whether the release from prison a day earlier of prominent political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez might open the way to negotiations to defuse the profound crisis gripping the country. Lopez was placed under house arrest immediately after his surprise release from a military prison. Still, the gesture—the most visible sign of conciliation since protests erupted April 1—triggered speculation over the prospect of talks between the opposition and the embattled leftist government of Nicolas Maduro. The protests continued Sunday, as 2,000 people marched in eastern Caracas, wearing T-shirts with Lopez’s face. Lopez, leader of the Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) party and a leading symbol of anti-Maduro resistance, emerged after his release from prison looking fit and happy—though wearing an ankle bracelet to allow authorities to monitor his movements, his family said.


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