Caracas mayor, who escaped a socialist nightmare: ‘I lived out a James Bond movie’

by WorldTribune Staff, November 20, 2017

The former mayor of Caracas, who was removed on charges of plotting to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, said he managed to slip past government security forces and flee the socialist nightmare that is Venezuela.

Former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma greets a journalist before boarding a plane at El Dorado airport in Bogota, Colombia on Nov. 17. / AP

Antonio Ledezma told The Associated Press that government intelligence officers had been stationed outside his residence 24 hours a day. He managed to slip past them undetected, then passed through several police checkpoints in a long journey by car to Colombia.

Colombian immigration authorities said Ledezma entered the country legally across the Simon Bolivar Bridge.

“I’ve lived out a James Bond movie,” Ledezma said. “I made this route of more than 24 hours, passing 29 control points, checkpoints, crossing paths, accepting all the risks, and in every moment I always thought about the value of freedom.”

Maduro called Ledezma a “vampire flying around the world.”

Ledezma, who fled from Colombia to Spain on Nov. 17, said he will now fight Maduro from exile.

“I am going to dedicate myself to traveling the world, to spread the hope of all Venezuelans to escape this regime, this dictatorship,” Ledezma said. “Venezuela isn’t on the verge of an abyss, it has fallen into the abyss.”

Ledezma was one of the leaders of anti-government protests that rocked Venezuela in 2014 and led to the jailing of other prominent opponents of the socialist regime.

“Venezuela is completely collapsing. We can’t wait any longer,” Ledezma said. “We don’t have any resources left, only our morale.”

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