Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López ends hunger strike
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Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López ends hunger strike

Venezuelan opposition party leader Leopoldo López ended his 30-day hunger strike on Tuesday.

The news was tweeted by Lilian Tintori, wife of the Voluntad Popular party leader.

She also read a letter from López written from his cell in the Ramo Verde military prison, in which he outlines his political objectives.

“He who tires loses, and we will never get tired!” the politician tweeted following the announcement.

López ended his strike after President Nicolás Maduro’s government confirmed the country would hold legislative elections on December 6. The elections had been one of López’s primary demands. He has also called for the release of 70 other political prisoners being held in the country.

A photo of López’s letter made the rounds on Venezuelan social media:

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 20.43.44

“Thirty days ago I began a hunger strike with my brother Daniel Ceballos, as a means of conscious, peaceful and non-violent protest. Our request, for impossible democracy: that the election date is set, it is observed internationally by the Organization of American States and the United States, so that these elections will end political prisoners, censorship and repression,” López wrote.

“We have made progress but there is still a long road to follow in this fight for democracy, which will finally grant us peace, wellbeing and progress,” he added.

The 44-year old leader had been held since February 2014, and stands accused of attempting to upend President Maduro’s government.

The politician has lost nearly 30 pounds in prison, according to his friends and family members who have seen him, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Human Rights Watch’s 2014 World Report details how Venezuela’s national assembly created a ‘“special commission” to investigate the sources of funding of “offices or organizations with political purposes and groups that act with the purpose of destabilizing and generating social commotion and coup d’etat[s] to undermine the constitutional order” in October 2013.

The country’s prisons are listed as being one of the most violent in Latin America. In Venezuela, there are nearly three times as many prisoners as beds, fueling an environment of extreme violence, with more than 16,000 inmates killed in the last 15 years, according to a 2014 study by the Venezuelan Prisons Observatory (OVP), published in Business Insider.

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