Venezuela's Protest Leader is Kenyon College Alum


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Leopoldo Lopez, the Venezuelan government protest leader currently jailed in a military prison near Caracas, graduated from Kenyon College in 1993.

The Columbus Dispatch published a story last week about the Kenyon community's response to Lopez' activism in his native South America.

“He’s a person of great integrity and courage so (he) is willing to put himself on the line, which is kind of amazing in this world,” said Royal Rhodes, a professor of religious studies who taught Lopez at Kenyon. “At his heart, it’s always been about what is best for the people of Venezuela.”

Lopez, who graduated with a sociology degree, reportedly comes from a "prominent family" in Venezuela, but has always remained committed to ideals of social justice, democracy, and freedom. He was arrested last week on charges of instigating violence, but has since had those charges reduced to instigating arson and "criminal gatherings."

From his cell, in a widely disseminated note, Lopez urged protesters not to give up. As of latest reports, he is "doing fine."

Here's a more thorough background on the protests' origins from the BBC.

In Cleveland, protesters gathered at the Free Stamp on Saturday to raise awareness, show their support for the people of Venezuela and generally rally for peace. Only one day prior, Clevelanders gathered at City Hall to rally for the people of Ukraine.

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