Reporting for CNN International, Mariano Castillo and Catherine E. Shoichet are reporting that Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has turned himself into the police after leading protesters in anti-government demonstrations. Protests have left three people dead including a 17-year-old. Major social and economic problems in Venezuela have provoked the protests. Venezuela has the highest rate of inflation in the world (56.2%) and basic goods are not available on store shelves.
Castillow and Shoichet write:
“Clashes during days of demonstrations have left three anti-government protesters and one government supporter dead. And the simmering tensions show no signs of letting up.
The confrontation took a dramatic turn Tuesday, when Lopez, accused by the government of conspiracy and murder in connection with the recent violence, marched with a crowd of thousands of protesters before surrendering to national guard troops.
“The options I had were leave the country, and I will never leave Venezuela!” Lopez told the massive crowd. “The other option was to remain in hiding, but that option could have left doubt among some, including some who are here, and we don’t have anything to hide.”
Hours later at a rally with throngs of supporters, Maduro said the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly had helped negotiate Lopez’s surrender and was taking him to a prison outside Caracas.
[President] Maduro described opposition leaders as right-wing fascists who plant seeds of fear and violence. He claimed they have U.S. backing and repeatedly tried to assassinate him and overthrow his democratically elected government.”
Read more at CNN International.