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Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been highly influential in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.

Details: Both his party and Spain's Ministry of Exterior confirmed his departure but would not be drawn on his whereabouts.

  • His father, Leopoldo López Sr., a member of European Parliament for Spain's conservative opposition Popular Party, told AFP López had fled a couple of days ago before crossing the border to Colombia Friday. He was expected to arrive in Spain Sunday, he said.
  • It's unclear how López managed to evade the heavy security outside the ambassador's residence, AP notes.

What they're saying: "After seven years of persecution and unjust imprisonment inside Venezuela, Leopoldo López is still not totally free, like all Venezuelans, so long as there exists a dictatorship that violates the human rights of the people," the Popular Will party said in its statement.

  • Guaidó posted a tweet directed at Maduro, saying "evading your repressive apparatus, we managed to get" López into another location, from where his fight against the regime continues.

Flashback: The most important political prisoner in Latin America

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The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

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A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.

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