Leopoldo Lopez from his jail in Ramo Verde has managed to sneak out a video where he calls for a massive protest next Saturday 30th. While himself and Ceballos start a hunger strike. Let's watch the video first:
Scenery and composition: with the distortion of the camera the cell looks more like the austere one of a convent than an actual jail hole. The atmosphere is from the start devotional and if the regime bitches at that they have only themselves to blame.
The hero: Simple but yet crisp white t-shirt, his wedding band and beard. he truly looks like a saint, an angel from above. And the calm tone of resolve through the message reinforces that. He knows that when this "illegal" video comes out he will pay a price for it.
The message: very simple and direct. I resume
"For over a year more than 70 Venezuelans are in jail for having denounced the regime as incapable, corrupt and repressive. The response has been implacable repression with many deaths caused by regime and regime supporters that go unpunished to these days, due to the complicity of the judicial power associated with the regime. After one year and 3 months things are worse than then. More lines, more scarcities, more corruption and even now accusations of drug trafficking at the highest levels of the government.
Considering all of the above and that millions of Venezuelans are tired of this we have decided, Ceballos and myself, to start a hunger strike. Our demands are very simple: 1) freedom for political prisoners; 2) stop to repression, persecution and censorship; 3) that once and for all the date for parliamentary elections is set; and 4) that these elections can count on the complete observation of the OAS and the European Union.
Equally we are demanding to our people to start a massive act of protest next Saturday 30th, in peace, without any type of violence. Let's go all out holding hands without any ideological distinctions."
The whole thing ends in a blessing.
Interpretation: there are many challenges here.
An obvious one is to Diosdado Cabello who is referred to in all but by direct name. But if Lopez does not say the name it is because he wants you to understand also that Cabello is not the only one even if he is the capo. That removing the capo alone is not enough. A big overhaul is needed.
Another obvious one to the MUD. It is simply unacceptable that the opposition political umbrella MUD is unable to have a concrete and solid statement on the implications of Diosdado Caebllo being pointed out as a major cartel overlord while he is silencing the press. Cabello cannot put everyone in jail. Or can he? It is even less acceptable that one of the best voted primary candidates of the MUD, Ceballos, is not only unjustly in jail even though legally he should already be out, but that he has been moved from a political prison to one where murderers and rapists and thieves make a living. Where is the MUD outrage? How is the MUD going to pretend that the coming elections are fair and meaningful? How can they pretend to encourage people to vote for them?
A subsidiary challenge comes from that last one, to UNASUR and the regime, a warning that an election "monitored" only by UNASUR will not be acceptable in current conditions, that UNASUR head Samper is a chavismo agent.
But there is a bigger challenge. This one is to the citizens. Be you chavista or non chavista if you are tired of lines, crime, corruption and lack of future it is time for you, el pueblo, to express it, in unison.
And this last one, I think, is the biggest challenge. This is where we'll see how much of a hero Lopez has become.