Trump tweets battle lines at Venezuela

President Trump

US President Donald Trump held an unannounced meeting Wednesday with Lilian Tintori, the wife of jailed hard-right Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. The president also posted a photograph of himself with Tintori in the Oval Office. The 45-year-old Lopez was convicted by a Caracas court on September 10, 2015, of inciting violence during mass protests in 2014 and sentenced to serve 13 years and nine months at the Ramo Verde military prison.

López was the axis of the actions of violence unleashed in 2014 with the activation of the coup plan La Salida, which left a balance of 43 people killed, more than 800 injured and unquantifiable material damages, such as the burning health centers, universities and educational institutions, public transportation units and food distribution centers.

On Thursday, Venezuela's Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Lopez's defense team to reverse the sentence, describing the request as legally "baseless". The U.S. announced sanctions against Venezuela's vice president Monday, accusing him of playing a major role in global drug trafficking.

Shortly before the meeting, President Nicolas Maduro said today that Donald Trump wants to push him into a "total" confrontation with Venezuela and pointed out that he does not want fights with the new head of the White House. Venezuela's Foreign Ministry delivered a formal letter of protest to the United States embassy Tuesday, vowing a legal and diplomatic response to what it has termed an "unprecedented" move.

However Mr Trump's remarks raised tensions and Venezuela's Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez accused the U.S. president of interfering in her country's affairs.



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