Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles called on Leopoldo Lopez to end his hunger strike, citing his belief that the Venezuelan government might be willing to let him die.
I’m not one to make judgements on such a personal decision, but I want to add my voice to those who have called for him to end his hunger strike. We need him alive and strong.
Last week, one of Lopez’s lawyers – accompanied by a doctor – explained that Lopez was being denied proper medical care, and that his body was beginning to suffer irreversible damage.
At the same press conference, Capriles said that the parliamentary elections would take place on September 27, citing an unnamed source inside the country’s elections body, the Consejo Nacional Electoral. Capriles said that he was sure that the elections would take place, because the PSUV understands that it would lose more by not holding elections than by losing the elections themselves.
As such, Capriles believes that the PSUV will choose “the least worst” time to hold the elections, and that the government will do everything in its power to make it appear as if the scarcity crisis is subsiding in the days before Venezuelans head to the polls.
He called on the country’s opposition parties to stay focused in the lead-up to the elections, and to forge “a new social pact” with the country’s poor to carry the country forward over the next several years.
Capriles also said that he still believed in the power of protest to bring about change, and explained that protests “are not an end, but a means”. On the class composition of the protests and the fact that they have subsided considerably this year as opposed to last, Capriles said that Venezuelans are more worried today about “surviving against insecurity and the economic crisis”, and that:
I don’t want to put down any kind of protest because there’s a middle class that’s really beaten up, but let’s be honest. Whenever you see that a protest [movement] exists in a social class and it fails to connect, ask yourself, “why?” Don’t blame those that don’t join it.
MUD To Present Unified Ballot at Parliamentary Elections
Henry Ramos Allup, the secretary general of the Accion Democratica opposition party, has announced that the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica will formally announce on Monday that it will present a unified ballot at this year’s parliamentary elections. Allup said:
We will go with a unified ballot, even while the government continues to conspire against the MUD. The MUD’s first task is to win the elections; then, to remain united to achieve change and show that the democratic alternative is superior to that of those who now govern the country.
The move is significant because, since the MUD is comprised of approximately 28 independent parties. Voluntad Popular, Leopoldo Lopez’s part, has yet to formally announce its support for the unified ballot.