NSC Statement on the Conviction of Opposition Leader Leopoldo López

Office of the Press Secretary
September 11, 2015


The United States is deeply disappointed that Leopoldo López has been convicted and sentenced to 13 years and 9 months imprisonment on a range of politically-motivated charges.  Respect for the rights of citizens to engage in political discourse and express political views without risk of detention or harassment are essential to a functioning democracy, and the Venezuelan government has a responsibility to protect these fundamental freedoms.  The decision to prosecute and sentence López, and the conduct of his trial, have highlighted significant failures in the rule of law and judicial system in Venezuela. We call on the Government of Venezuela to release López, as well as all other political prisoners who remain unjustly detained.