MADRID – Venezuelan opposition leader and former metropolitan mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, has submitted a request for political asylum in Spain, Spanish government spokesman Ińigo Mendez de Vigo said on Friday.
Even though Ledezma himself, who arrived in Spain a week ago from Colombia after fleeing Venezuela, had stated he had no intention of seeking asylum, Mendez de Vigo announced Friday that he had changed his mind.
“It’s another indication of the Venezuelan people’s struggle to recover their freedom and a normal democracy,” the Spanish spokesman said, after noting that the opposition leader himself stated soon after he landed at Barajas International Airport in Madrid, that “today upon arriving in Spain, I feel free.”
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy received Ledezma last Saturday as soon as the Venezuelan landed in Madrid on a flight from Colombia, after escaping from Venezuela the day before and where he had been under house arrest since 2015, accused of conspiracy and criminal association.
At that meeting, Rajoy told him that Spain will continue working bilaterally and in collaboration with its European and Ibero-American partners to help reach a fully democratic solution for Venezuela.
During his first week in Spain, Ledezma censured the situation his country is going through and has called on other opposition leaders to forget about the “personal issues” and certain “inconsistencies” of recent times.
This Thursday, the opposition majority at Caracas City Hall canceled Ledezma’s title of metropolitan mayor for his “absolute absence” after fleeing the country, putting an end to more than 1,000 days deprived of his freedom.