The Americas

Backed by Trump Venezuelans march to demand release of Lopez

  • A protestor holds a poster with the image of Venezuela's jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, listens to speeches with others during a protest to demand the release of Lopez and other jailed opposition leaders, in Madrid, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The poster reads in Spanish: "Freedom Now". (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    A protestor holds a poster with the image of Venezuela's jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, listens to speeches with others during a protest to demand the release of Lopez and other jailed opposition leaders, in Madrid, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The poster reads in Spanish: "Freedom Now". (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN. A young boy holds up a poster with the image of Venezuela's jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez during a protest demanding the release of Lopez and other jailed opposition leaders, in Madrid, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Posters read in Spanish: "Freedom Now", "No More Political Prisoners" and "No More Impoverishment". (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    EDS NOTE : SPANISH LAW REQUIRES THAT THE FACES OF MINORS ARE MASKED IN PUBLICATIONS WITHIN SPAIN. A young boy holds up a poster with the image of Venezuela's jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez during a protest demanding the release of Lopez and other jailed opposition leaders, in Madrid, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Posters read in Spanish: "Freedom Now", "No More Political Prisoners" and "No More Impoverishment". (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protestors, some holding posters with the image of Venezuela's jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the release of Lopez and other jailed opposition leaders, in Madrid, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Posters read in Spanish: "Freedom Now", "No More Dictatorship", "No More Political Prisoners" and "No More Impoverishment". (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Protestors, some holding posters with the image of Venezuela's jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the release of Lopez and other jailed opposition leaders, in Madrid, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Posters read in Spanish: "Freedom Now", "No More Dictatorship", "No More Political Prisoners" and "No More Impoverishment". (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

Hundreds of Venezuelans are marching Saturday to demand the release of activist Leopoldo Lopez on the third anniversary of the opposition leader's arrest.

The annual opposition-organized demonstration has taken on added urgency after President Donald Trump this week met with Lopez's wife in the Oval Office.

Similar marches were held in Madrid and elsewhere.

The U.S. State Department on Saturday repeated Trump's call for Lopez's immediate release and freedom for all "prisoners of conscience."

Lopez last year was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison in a trial marred by irregularities for inciting violence during anti-government protests. Venezuela's Supreme Court upheld the conviction this week in the face of widespread condemnation by many foreign governments and the United Nations, which consider Lopez a political prisoner.