‘Volcano of Energy’ Lopez Who Rode Shot Car Roils Venezuela

What stuck most in Timothy Towell’s memory was the car. When the former U.S. diplomat met with Leopoldo Lopez in September 2006, the Venezuelan opposition leader showed up in an SUV riddled with bullet holes.

“The car had been machine-gunned, with a dozen holes going right up the side, and all the old senior American diplomats and their wives were looking at it and sticking their fingers in the bullet holes,” Towell, who was in Caracas on a trip organized by the Council of American Ambassadors, said in a phone interview. “It made the dramatic point that people were being shot at for being in favor of a push for democracy.”