World News

Jailed Venezuelan Opposition Leader Urges Protesters Not to Give Up

Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez is urging his supporters not to give up their anti-government protests that have killed at least eight people this week.

In a note passed to his wife from his Caracas jail cell Friday, Lopez said he is fine. He called on the protesters to stay firm against violence and keep organized and disciplined.

Lopez said this is "everyone's struggle."

Lopez turned himself in to police Tuesday. President Nicolas Maduro accuses him of inciting violence and leading what the president calls a U.S.-backed conspiracy to throw him out of power.

Lopez and his Popular Will party are protesting soaring inflation, shortages in supermarkets and rampant crime.

The U.S. State Department describes as baseless charges that the United States is behind the protests. It says they draw attention away from the Venezuelan government's inability to deal with the country's problems.

Venezuelan officials say the violence stemming from the protests has also injured 137 people.

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