Chile's Michelle Bachelet Refuses to Meet with Venezuelan Opposition Leader's Wife

The wives of jailed opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma arrived in the Chilean capital on Sunday with the objective of meeting with president Michelle Bachelet, but were not received.

By Z.C. DUTKA

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Lilian Tintori (L) and Mitzi Capriles (Voluntad Popular)
Lilian Tintori (L) and Mitzi Capriles (Voluntad Popular)
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Santa Elena, April 14th, 2015. (venezuelanalysis.com)- The wives of jailed opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma arrived in the Chilean capital on Sunday with the objective of meeting with president Michelle Bachelet, but were not received. 

Venezuelans Lilian Tintori and Mitzy Capriles, respective wives of Lopez and Ledezma, were met on Monday by government spokesperson Alvaro Elizalde at the presidential palace, who informed the two that the presidential visit would not be possible. 

“It’s important to determine the role that corresponds with each political actor,” Elizalde was reported to have said, indicating that Chile continues to support the UNASUR initiative to improve the process of dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition party.

Since Leopoldo's arrest in Feb 2014, Tintori has traveled widely, petitioning international leaders and organizations to condemn the Venezuelan government for keeping “political prisoners” behind bars. 

Critics have accused Leopoldo’s defense of delaying trial proceedings and using his detainment as a “political platform.”

Leopoldo faces charges of public instigation, criminal association, and responsibility for property and fire damage, after his hardline anti-government campaign known as “The Exit” incited violent protest across the South American country last February, resulting in 43 deaths.

Capriles joined Tintori in her world tour after her husband and former Caracas mayor Ledezma was arrested on charges of conspiracy and criminal association this February. 

Ledezma along with Leopoldo and Maria Corina Machado, signed a "National Accord for Transition,” calling for the ouster of the democratically elected Maduro government, 24 hours before a coup attempt was foiled by Venezuelan intelligence.

According to the Venezuelan news site Noticias24, Chilean politicians from the country’s ultra right-wing have organized to ask the leftist Bachelet administration to reconsider the visit.

The news site also claimed to have insider information that the right-wingers advised the two Venezuelan women to cancel a TV debate planned with the Chilean senator Alejandro Navarro this week.