Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Manifesto for the Democratic Resistance by Leopoldo López

 "He who tires loses" -  Leopoldo López Mendoza

Leopoldo López

Carlos Vecchio from the underground reads the Manifesto for the  Democratic Resistance written by Leopoldo López in original Spanish (Original language transcript here)

Manifesto for the  Democratic Resistance

Today no one can say that what there is in Venezuela is a democracy. The authoritarian, repressive, and criminal reaction to the protests have been a blow to freedom that leaves no doubt that we live in a dictatorship. A dictatorship that has been incubating for years, that no one can fail to see and recognize.

The call that I made from the Plaza Brión de Chacaito in Caracas a few days ago to take to the streets peacefully from February 12 has been more than overwhelming, in its commitment , in its massiveness , and in its permanence. Today I am in prison in Ramo Verde for making a call to raise our voice of commitment and of democratic struggle. Today before you I want to affirm that I do not regret the price I am paying with my freedom for having made the call to build together the change we require in Venezuela. It has been worthwhile.

If they applied to all citizens the same punishment they aim to impose on me with my physical imprisonment they would have to build prisons for millions of Venezuelans who are willing to make that sacrifice.

Within the constraints imposed by prison I have followed carefully the call for dialogue by those who are now in power and the opinions expressed by my colleagues in the Unity , and therefor, in that context, I propose the following path of action:

 1) Standing firm with the nonviolent protests, there is no reason to give up our struggle. We can not give up, we must go on for the fallen, for the tortured, for the prisoners,  for the entire Venezuelan people that today suffers the attacks of a completely autocratic system. We must remain steadfast

 2) We propose an agenda with specific acts framed in the constitution and justice. There can be no true peace without justice and freedom, these demands are:
a ) The release of all political prisoners and the return of the exiles.

b ) Justice for those killed by repression and abuse, both for the material authors and for those who gave the orders. 
c ) Reassemble the public authorities whose mandates expired according to the constitution , a new controller, new directors of the CNE , new judges of the supreme court.

It is justice, it is constitutional and should be undertaken as an immediate step for the call to dialogue to be credible with actions and not just with words.
d ) We demand the resignation of those responsible by action and by omission for the repression, the torture and the deaths. There is no way to lower the intensity of our protests the following do not resign: Miguel Rodríguez Torres, primarily responsible for the repression, and Luisa Ortega Diaz , primarily responsible for unjust imprisonments and impunity.
 e ) We demand justice for the fraud of 30 billion dollars stolen in CADIVI. That elite is to blame for  the terrible economic model that today has Venezuelans in lines for shortages, inflation and unemployment.
They stole the equivalent of the international reserves and nothing has happened . Identified as principles responsible for the theft to the nation are Rafael Ramirez , Nelson Merentes and Manuel Barroso. They are the ones who signed and turned in the liquidation of those dollars that stayed in their pockets and those of their friends. We demand jail for those corruptors who stole from the nation.
With this agenda, which includes the street protests of the democratic unity, we propose to send a clear message of what are our conditions for dialogue and bring these proposals to street assemblies to legitimize them and  to expand the petitions of the Venezuelan democratic people against the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro.

We call on all social, political movements and the Venezuelan people to together articulate a movement of popular strength to make our demands reality.To the regime and in particular to Maduro we say that not having a timely response to these democratic, just and constitutional demands we will have no choice but to assume the commitment to continue on the street, intensify the peaceful, but irreverent, and forceful protests until we see the birth of the country that we all deserve.

Tomorrow I invite you to support at ten in the morning concentration convened by Antonio Ledezma in the Alfredo Sadel de las Mercedes Plaza which then will head to the OAS to demand that the Venezuelan situation be discussed. Pay close attention because every day strong actions will be announced that will go from less to more. It will be the alternative leaders who will make that announcement.

A new stage of the struggle is coming. This is just beginning. I assure you that this awakening of the people of Venezuela will make our energies continue to grow.Finally to our committed youth, a message of admiration and respect, you are on the right side of history, a deeply patriotic history. It has been the cycle of history which again has called them to be at the forefront of this difficult and painful birth, but just the country we deserve, that better Venezuela.

They will not be able to defeat he who does not give up. Strength and faith brothers, strength and faith brothers, he who tires loses. 

God be with you in this fight, Venezuela deserves more from us.

 Thank you very much and good night.

Leopoldo López

Ramo Verde Military Prison . March 3, 2014. 

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