Outrage as Venezuela opposition chief sentenced

Supporters rallied around the wife of Venezuela’s opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on Friday, calling for peaceful protests as he was sentenced to nearly 14 years in jail for his role in deadly anti-government demonstrations last year. The European Union joined them in denouncing a “harsh” verdict, while Washington said it was “deeply troubled” by the treatment of the US-trained economist. Seen by critics as politically motivated, the ruling is expected to fan tensions in Venezuela, where ongoing runaway inflation and shortages of basic goods fueled last year’s protests against President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist administration.

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