Monday, August 15, 2016

Jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López sends a message to his supporters

"We repudiate the ratification of the unjust sentence against Leopoldo López, in democracy there are no political prisoners. Opportunity lost for reconciliation of Venezuela." -  Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States, August 12, 2016 over twitter 

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López Mendoza in prison
Leopoldo López Mendoza was arbitrarily detained on February 18, 2014 in Caracas, Venezuela. Over a year and a half later on September 10, 2015 he was subjected to a show trial and sentenced to 13 years and nine months in prison.  On August 12, 2016 the prison sentence was upheld in a Venezuelan court. There is no longer an independent judiciary in Venezuela and this decision is entirely political. Two days later on August 14, 2016 Leopoldo López, from prison, tweeted a message of defiance and solidarity to the people of Venezuela.

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López Mendoza on day of his arrest
 The message pieced together and translated reads as follows:
"Still jailed for being committed body and soul to achieve the best Venezuela, something that only in a dictatorship could be considered a crime. I have always known that my freedom is tied to the freedom of our people and it won't be a court of this dictatorship that will grant it.
I presented myself before unfair justice to expose a dictatorship in front of the people of Venezuela and the world. And we have achieved more than that.
Our worst enemies are not Maduro or his corrupt elite. They are hopelessness, sadness and pessimism, and the dictatorship knows it. But the dictatorship is wrong if it thinks it can break our fighting spirit, as it is in thinking it can make Venezuelans bow down before it.

Venezuelans do not grieve or be frustrated! I swear I am not. We must convert all our indignation into action and mobilization. At this moment, the solidarity that I ask of you is with the country we love: lets go out with all our strength on September 1st. All dressed in white and in peace we will demonstrate that we are millions and we will go out to conquer our right to recall the government in 2016.

Do not get tired I never will. The change is near and it is unstoppable. Strength, Strength and Faith, Venezuela!"

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