Chile youth leader freed in Venezuela, going to Santiago

CARACAS/SANTIAGO, (Reuters) – A right-wing Chilean youth leader was freed yesterday after his detention late on Thursday in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, sparked protests from officials in Chile and from opposition leaders in Venezuela.

Following negotiations between Chilean and Venezuelan officials, Felipe Cuevas, who heads the youth wing of Chile’s conservative Independent Democratic Union (UDI) party, was freed and scheduled to board a plane back to Santiago later on Friday, said UDI General Secretary Javier Macaya.

Chile’s “foreign affairs minister unofficially told us that Felipe Cuevas was being set free and was on his way to the airport. This is obviously good news, but we won’t stop being worried until Felipe arrives in Chile,” Macaya said.

Cuevas was arrested for taking photos in an unauthorized place and for not carrying identification, Chile’s ambassador to Venezuela said earlier in the day.

The spokesman for Chile’s center-left government, cabinet minister Alvaro Elizalde, said Venezuela’s ambassador had been called in to discuss the incident, stating the government would carry “out all actions it can to resolve this situation.”

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