Spain grants citizenship to six members of Venezuelan opposition

Relatives of Leopoldo López and CEO of newspaper face “political persecution,” according to Spanish deputy prime minister

Leopoldo López in 2014.
Leopoldo López in 2014.JORGE SILVA / (REUTERS)

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The Spanish government has awarded Spanish citizenship to six members of Venezuela’s opposition at the end of a week that has seen renewed protests in the South American country despite a state of emergency declared by President Nicolás Maduro.

Among the six are the sister and brother-in-law of Leopoldo López, the opposition leader being held in a military prison, along with the CEO of daily El Nacional, his wife and two children.

Spanish deputy prime minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría told reporters after the decision, made at the weekly Friday cabinet meeting, that the six are “very affected” by “political persecution” and that awarding them nationality will allow them to deal with harassment “with better democratic guarantees.”

The parents of Leopoldo López were given Spanish citizenship last year.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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