Freed from Military Jail, Venezuelan Political Prisoner López Meets with International Mediators

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Jul 13, 2017, 1:02 pm
Venezuelan Political Prisoner López
According to the family of Leopodo López, the former president of Spain was instrumental in getting him transferred to house arrest. (Twiter)

EspañolThe former President of Spain Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero paid a visit this week to Leopoldo López, the Venezuelan activist who was held as a political prisoner by Nicolás Maduro’s regime. Zapatero has been an active player in helping solve the country’s crisis, having served as a mediator between the Maduro regime and the Venezuelan opposition.

López appears to have been busy speaking with a number of high-standing political figures working against Maduro’s dictatorship.

He also spoke to Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, over the phone, in addition to Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who congratulated him on the courage he had shown during his time in prison.

Tweet: And so, former president Zapatero visits @leopoldolopez while under house arrest. LL sends strong msg of fight for the liberty of ALL of Vnzla

According to López’s family, the former Spanish President was a key figure in helping transfer the political prisoner to house arrest.

Meanwhile, the conversation López has with Secretary General Almagro reportedly focused on the importance of the upcoming referendum being organized by the political opposition.

Luis Almagro @Almagro_OEA2015
I am sharing the conversation that I just had with @Leopoldolopez in #Venezuela. Democracy needs to return now!

Luis Almagro @Almagro_OEA2015
Venezuela is pushing for an electoral calendar, humane treatment AN respect, and the release of political prisoners @Leopoldolopez

“They emphasized the urgent need for the regime to end repression, the immediate need for a comprehensive electoral calendar, the opening of a humanitarian channel to meet the needs of the people in the country, the complete restoration of the powers of the National Assembly and the release of all political prisoners,” an OAS statement said.

Almagro also insisted that López needed to be fully freed.

Sources: Diario Las Américas

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Acapulco Hotel Owners Unite Against Airbnb with New Tax Bill Countering “Unfair” Competition

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jul 13, 2017, 11:24 am

EspañolAirbnb, the online housing rental service, may be charged a new tax in Mexico's tourist destination of Acapulco. The Association of Hotels and Tourism Companies there is working on a bill that would charge Airbnb a three-percent tax. The bill will be sent to the local Congress as well as the Guerrero State congress. President of the AHTC Jorge Laurel González said that companies such as Airbnb that offer rooms, apartments and sometimes even full houses at lower prices than formal hotels should be considered "unfair competition." Airbnb offers approximately 250,000 properties in Acapulco alone, dwarfing the 20,000 hotel rooms offered by the formal hotel industry. Read More: Airbnb Rentals Offer Cuban Residents Much-Needed Extra Income Read More: The NYT’s Strawman Attack on Uber and the Gig Economy "It is an unfair competition and it inhibits the growth and interest of corporations and hotel chains," González said, "who would like to come to Acapulco and set up properties to generate hotel activity in the bay." Airbnb has been operating for eight years, but it really hit its stride three years ago. Gonzalez warned that if not immediately regulated, the competition could negatively affect tourism and cause many hotels to choose to move to their own informal systems. "We hope that it will not be the case here, but in cities like Barcelona and Miami there is no regulation. But Mexico City is doing something about it and we hope that something can be done in Acapulco soon," Gonzalez, said. Source: El Economista

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