Lilian Tintori, the wife of Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo Lopez, arrived in Spain on Tuesday with her daughter, Federica Antonieta, the Spanish government said.
Tintori decided to leave the Spanish ambassador’s residence in Caracas, where she had been staying as a guest, a Spanish government spokeswoman said.
Tintori had gone to the residence with Lopez on April 30, following a failed uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.
Lopez remains in the ambassador’s residence in Caracas, an official from the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry said.
Beatriz Becerra, vice chair of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, welcomed Tintori.
“Welcome to Spain, @liliantintori, a big hug!,” Becerra wrote on Twitter.
“We will follow closely the evolution of events in Venezuela,” she added.
— Beatriz Becerra 🇪🇦 (@beatrizbecerrab) June 4, 2019
An opposition politician who was jailed in 2014 for leading anti-Maduro protests, Lopez left jail in 2017 but remained under house arrest.
He is a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaido, who in January invoked the Constitution to assume an interim presidency after declaring Maduro’s 2018 re-election illegitimate. Maduro has accused US-backed Guaido of staging a coup.
Lopez briefly appeared on the streets of Caracas as part of a failed uprising against Maduro, and later sought refuge in the Spanish ambassador’s residence.
After granting Lopez access to the residence, acting Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said in early May that Spain would not allow its embassy in Caracas to be used as a political centre.
The Spanish government said at the time that it would not turn Lopez over to the Venezuelan authorities after a court issued a warrant for his arrest, but it also said that it would not grant him asylum.
Not the first time in Spain
This is not the first time Tintori has visited Spain since Lopez was imprisoned in 2014. She has travelled to Madrid on different occasions calling for Lopez’s release.
Lopez’s parents live in Madrid and have held Spanish citizenship since 2015 when the government granted them the nationality in the face of the “political and judicial persecution” suffered in Venezuela, the newspaper El Pais reported.
Madrid has become a hub for Venezuelan leaders who have faced persecution, such as the former mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, who fled house arrest in 2017.
Leopoldo Lopez Gil, Lopez’s father, has become one of the most popular faces of the Venezuelan exile in Spain, after winning a seat for the Spanish Popular Party in the European Parliament in May this year, becoming the first Venezuelan member of the European Parliament in history.
Gil is expected to draw attention in the European Parliament to the social, economic, and political crisis taking place in Venezuela.