Backed by Trump Venezuelans march to demand release of Lopez

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.