By LEOPOLDO LOPEZ
Thirty days ago, together with my brother Daniel Ceballos, I assumed the responsibility of initiating a hunger strike as an expression of conscious, peaceful, and non-violent protest. Our demands could not be more democratic: we asked for a fixed date for the elections with qualified international observers from the OAS and the EU and that these elections be conducted without political prisoners, censorship, and repression.
The days have been slow and heavy, but fueled by our conviction in the reasons that led us to take up this protest. During these four weeks, we have made progress, but we have much more to do in this fight to reconquer democracy and finally lead our people along a path of peace, well-being, and progress.
Concerning the date of the elections, I only have to say with much hope: Venezuela now has a date for change. Also, I acknowledge the importance of the pronouncements of UNASUR, the OAS, and the European Union of their intention to participate as observers during the electoral process. We are thankful for these pronouncements that represent a clear commitment to democracy in Venezuela.
Similarly, we hope that in the next few hours the Ombudsman, Attorney General, and Supreme Court of Justice honor this commitment and follow our request to release early those unjustly imprisoned, especially those suffering from health issues.
I want to thank all persons and national and international organizations that have supported our requests. In particular, I would like to express my deep gratitude and words of respect for the hundreds of people who actively joined me in peaceful protest and undertook their own hunger strikes.
To you, brothers and sisters, I ask with my hand on my heart that we take with humility the achievements of this protest and that together we end the hunger strike. In the words of the Venezuelan people: we need us all healthy and full of life, in order to achieve peace and freedom for all Venezuelans.
We assumed this protest not to die but so that all Venezuelans can live with dignity. The hunger strike is a method of struggle. We lifted the strike but the struggle continues and I am also convinced that the unifying and democratic forces are more prepared than ever for this battle.
Finally, I want to thank all the persons and institutions who expressed their concern for our health. I say, I will recover, and I will continue to fight for a better Venezuela.
Venezuelans, I swear that I will never give up, and you don’t either. He who tires, loses, and we will never tire.
Strength and faith, Venezuela.
Ramo Verde Military Prison
June 22, 2015