Before turning himself over to the Maduro regime for encouraging nonviolent protests Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López Mendoza addressed a gathering of tens of thousands in Caracas:
Perhaps there was a silence for a time. Leaving unclear the why of this whole fight. This fight is indeed for our youth, this fight is indeed for the students and for those who have been repressed, this fight is indeed for those who have been imprisoned, but this fight brothers and sisters, is for all the people of Venezuela, that is suffering today, is suffering making lines, is suffering scarcity, the youth have no employment, they have no future, because of the wrong model, for a model that is not implemented, but exported from other countries, that has nothing to do with the brave people of Venezuela, and that we together brother and sisters, have to be clear that we have to build an exit to this disaster. That exit brothers and sisters must be nonviolent, it must be within the constitution but it also has to be on the streets. Because we no longer have in Venezuela, we no longer have in Venezuela, a free media to express ourselves. If the media is silenced let the street speak loudly. Let the people speak, and may the streets speak with peace and with democracy.
I am now about to proceed to go towards the squad where the National Guard is to turn myself in.
I am going to do it. I thought about it a lot. I'd like to let you know that these past few days, I had a lot of time to think, analyze, listen to the radio, watch TV or read what I haven’t for a while, speak with my family, and the option I had was to leave the country, but I will never leave, never. The other option, was to stay hidden in secrecy, but that choice could leave doubts among some, including some who are here now that we have something to hide. We have nothing to hide, I have not committed any crimes, I am not a criminal, I do not have to hide, then the other option is to turn my self in, and I ask you, and beg you with my heart, that when I pass by and turn myself in, that you keep calm, we have no other option. I do not want any more violence or confrontation, so I ask for your understanding, for your organization and your discipline.
I would like to thank everyone, but especially someone who has given me strength, a person that today represents my strongest pillar to be here with you, my wife Lilian who is here.
Well brothers and sisters I ask you to continue in this fight and do not leave the street, to assume our right to protest, but to do it in peace and without violence, I ask that us, all of us that are here, all of the Venezuelans that want a change, to get informed, educated, organized, and to execute non-violent protests, the protests of masses, and the will of souls and hearts that want to change, but without hurting your neighbor. I ask you not to lose faith, and I am sure in the name of my children, my daughter Manuela, my son Leopoldo, and like Luis Eloy Blanco once said, who is the father of one child is the father of all the children. In the name of all the children of Venezuela, I swear we will prevail and that soon we will have a Free and Democratic Venezuela.