Leopoldo Lopez was able to see his wife, Lilian Tintori, for the first time in 40 days today. The couple were reunited at the Palacio de Justicia [Palace of Justice] in Caracas, where Lopez (along with four students) stood before a judge today as their trial resumed.
Tintori shared the tender moment through Twitter, saying:
I ran the last 20 meters until I reached him and gave him a huuuuuge hug!!! He’s still strong! He’s full of strength and FAITH!
I hugged him for 50 seconds with lots of love! I was shaking with emotion!
During a brief recess in the proceeding at around 6:00 PM local time, Tintori stepped outside the courtroom to provide an update on the case. She said that Lopez had been given an opportunity to speak on his defence, and called his words “impeccable” and “historic”. She continued:
[Lopez] made a call to the judge and the lawyers there to remember why they studied law in the first place, and to stay true to those values.
Through Twitter, Tintori claimed that Lopez also said,
… never bow down before injustice and lies. This is an opportunity to make the truth – and above all, justice – count.
Lopez also spoke directly to the judge, and in reference to her rejection of a U.N. call to free him immediately, said:
Leopoldo looked at the judge and said: I know the pen was heavy in your hand when you signed the document to ignore the U.N. [request].
The trial is ongoing at this time.
Maduro Shuffles Economy Around
During a speech from Miraflores on the state-owned VTV station, announced the transfer of four billion dollars from the Chinese Fund to the country’s international reserves. The Chinese Fund is a Sino-Venezuelan monetary agreement that amounts to China lending Venezuela approximately 56 billion dollars over a number of years to help finance projects in the country.
Maduro explained the move, saying:
Four billion dollars have just come in from the Chinese Fund, from the new branch of financing, and I’ve ordered four billion dollars placed in the strategic reserve fund [so that] they can be used as part of the international reserves to continue the strategy of strengthening Venezuelan foreign reserves.
With today’s announcements, Venezuela’s foreign currency reserves will jump to 23.4 billion dollars, the highest value since August 2013.
In addition to the Chinese Fund announcement, Maduro also announced that he was going to pass into law via executive order 28 new laws to “diversify” and “guarantee the growth” of the Venezuelan economy. Maduro explained:
Everything that we’ve done in 2014 and in part of 2013 will be the starting point of an integral production strategy… From dawn on January 1st, 2015 I will call for a definitive resolution to everything that has been the economic war and the sabotaging of production.