Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, it is right and fitting for the United States House of Representatives to pay attention to the case of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who has been unjustly imprisoned by the puppet regime of Nicolas Maduro.
Leopoldo is a grassroots leader and founder of the political party Voluntad Popular. He has been wrongfully accused of criminal incitement, conspiracy, arson, and intent to damage property.
Leopoldo is being held in a military prison, and his proceedings have been kept secret from the public. We cannot stand idly by while democracy and due process are trampled on in our own hemisphere, Mr. Speaker. Being silent is not an option.
Venezuelan students have been peacefully demonstrating against this regime that has no qualms repressing the protest with live ammunition and shock groups whose tactics are extremely violent.
Those of us who advocate for freedom have a moral responsibility to support the students in Caracas, Merida, San Cristobal, Valencia, and throughout Venezuela who, through peaceful means, seek the way to create a more perfect union with democracy and freedom as their guide.