After earning a degree in sociology from Kenyon College (in Ohio, U.S.A), he received a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University.
He was arrested for his role in the 2014 Venezuelan protests. Both the United Nations and Amnesty International spoke out against the arrest, calling it an unjust political maneuver.
He married human rights Activist Lilian Tintori in 2007; they had a son named Leopoldo Santiago and a daughter named Manuela Rafaela.
He was born into a prominent political family: his great-great-great grandfather, Cristobal Mendoza, was the first President of the First Republic of Venezuela, and his great-great-great uncle, Simon Bolivar, was President of both the Second and Third Republics of Venezuela.