What the unjailing of Leopoldo López means for Venezuela

ON JULY 5th, independence day, a pro-government mob armed with sticks, metal poles and pistols charged into Venezuela’s golden-domed national assembly building and beat up parliamentarians. Some of the victims, dazed and bloodied, staggered around the legislature’s gardens. Two went to hospital; with fractured skulls, it was feared. The thugs were responding to a summons by Tareck el Aissami, the country’s vice-president. The assembly, under opposition control since elections in December 2015, had been hijacked by an “oligarchy”, he declared; “patriots” should defend it. The national guard, responsible for the legislature’s security, made little effort to stop them.

Three days later, Venezuela’s thuggish regime showed its nicer face. In the dead of night Leopoldo López, the country’s most prominent political prisoner, was transferred from the Ramo Verde military prison to his house, where he will remain confined. The supreme court, which obeys the government, ordered the transfer on...

Read More