Jailed Venezuela opposition leader goes on trial for inciting violence during street protests

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A top leader of the anti-government protests that wracked Venezuela for months this spring is getting his day in court.

The trial of opposition firebrand Leopoldo Lopez for inciting violence at demonstrations began Wednesday in Caracas.

Lopez was arrested in February after he spoke at a demonstration that turned violent. That protest marked the start of three months of deadly street demonstrations. While the protest movement has mostly died down, and opposition leaders have begun to fight among themselves, Lopez has remained in a jail cell.

Over the past five months, he has become a cause célèbre for critics of Venezuela's socialist government.

Riot police and members of the National Guard on Wednesday blocked access to the court where Lopez was scheduled to appear.