In a statement released by his press office, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reinforced his support for jailed Venezuelan “political prisoner” Leopoldo Lopez–a reform politician known for building a movement against the late socialist President Hugo Chavez. Cruz registered his wish to spread awareness for efforts dedicated to protecting inalienable rights for those residing in the failed socialist utopia after Chavez’s death.
“Jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez has asked for supporters around the globe to raise their voices on behalf of those being persecuted as they protest for freedom in Venezuela,” said Sen. Cruz. “Mr. Lopez’s call for the restoration of civil society and basic human rights commands our attention. His bravery in continuing to speak out even from his prison cell commands our respect. He is right, ‘To be silent is to be complicit’.”
Cruz echoed reports from reformist Lopez that the collapse of Venezuela’s socialist experiments has caused the nation to lead the Western Hemisphere in murder and inflation rates.
The junior Texas Senator shared a New York Times op-ed written by Lopez to offer a personal perspective from the nation in economic and political turmoil.
“I have been in prison for more than a month. On Feb. 12, I urged Venezuelans to exercise their legal rights to protest and free speech–but to do so peacefully and without violence,” Lopez wrote. “Three people were shot and killed that day. An analysis of video by the news organization Últimas Noticias determined that shots were fired from the direction of plainclothes military troops.”
Despite the alleged violent clashes and incarcerations with pro-government paramilitary groups, Lopez encourages westerners to stand with his movement to support freedom of expression, fair courts and individual property rights in Venezuela.
According to his statement, Cruz is clear with respect to his support for Lopez.
“[Reformers] do not deserve to be summarily incarcerated, or worse, when they protest for a more free and prosperous way of life. Free Leopoldo Lopez now.”
Follow Logan Churchwell on Twitter @LCChurchwell