Protests in Downtown Fort Myers after Venezuela opposition leader surrenders
CARACAS, Venezuela - A leader of Venezuela's opposition has been arrested after emerging from hiding today.
This sparked local protests in Centennial Park in Downtown Fort Myers Tuesday evening.
Leopoldo Lopez made an impassioned speech to some 5,000 supporters gathered in the capital, Caracas, saying he hoped his detention will open Venezuelans' eyes to their government's increasingly authoritarian style.
After the short speech, Lopez walked a few feet to a police line, where he turned himself in. Opposition politicians urged calm as Lopez was taken away.
Lopez was being sought by authorities for allegedly inciting violence during protests last week in which three people were killed. He faces charges including homicide and vandalism of public property.
President Nicolas Maduro accuses Lopez of leading a "fascist" plot to overthrow him.
Meanwhile in Washington, the State Department is rejecting allegations that the U.S. is helping to organize the protests. It's hinting that it will take retaliatory action for the expulsion of three U.S. diplomats. Venezuela charges that the Americans tried to infiltrate Venezuelan universities under the cover of doing visa outreach.