This past Tuesday, the opposition-led National Assembly of Venezuela passed an amnesty law that would free over seventy political prisoners, including Leopoldo Lopez ’93. While President Maduro has the ability to veto, the assembly can override the veto with an absolute majority of lawmakers present. However, Maduro could also send the law to the Supreme Court, an institution supposedly full of his loyalists.
An email from Friends of a Free Venezuela states:
According to a report on Venezuela News and Views, shortly after the amnesty vote the National Assembly turned toward cleaning up and de-politicizing the Supreme Court. The latest round of appointees “got their job through unconstitutional ways to allow for the pre-electoral packing of the court.”
The goal is to force the Maduro regime to choose between a revision of the latest appointees or an expansion of the court to include dissenting opinions.
While there are no guarantees that the law will result in the freedom of the political prisoners, it is an important step forward in the process. Lopez is currently serving a 13 year sentence, and was initially detained in February of 2014.