The New York Times has published a letter from Kenyon alum Leopoldo López ’93. López handed himself to the National Guard on February 19th and was cited with charges of “inciting violence” in ongoing street protests. (You can read about the arrest in this BBC News article.)
The letter itself is titled “Venezuela’s Failing State” and notes the suffering of the Venezuelan people at the hands of the Venezuelan government and the fact that he has been detained under what Amnesty International has deemed a “politically motivated attempt to silence dissent.” He urges the Venezuelan people to continue to protest and speak. He calls for the release of all the students and protestors who have been detained, as well as putting up fair elections where the voice of the people can be heard. He ends the letter on a rousing note:
For Venezuelans, a change in leadership can be accomplished entirely within a constitutional and legal framework. We must advocate for human rights; freedom of expression; the right to property, housing, health and education; equality within the judicial system, and, of course, the right of protest. These are not radical goals. They are the basic building blocks of society.