Actor Kevin Spacey published a blog post Saturday in support of imprisoned Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and "all of the Venezuelans who peacefully and non-violently claim their right to self-determination and protest."
Spacey wrote that while since the protest began, 1,400 students have been arrested, with widespread reports of torture, while Lopez has continued to urge nonviolence from his jail cell, and the "government has presented no evidence of the charges against him and their legal case is falling apart." He notes that Amnesty International has called the government's case against Lopez a “politically motivated attempts to silence dissent.”
Lopez is facing charges of conspiracy and arson after he turned himself in to authorities following a protest on Feb. 19. The government has accused the protests of being a foreign backed attempt to overthrow the government. Since his arrest, Lopez has managed to send messages to supporters and published an op-ed in the New York Times, but guards recently confiscated a list of questions sent to him by a BuzzFeed reporter.
Spacey had previously tweeted about the crisis in Venezuela in the lead up to the Oscars, using the opposition rallying cries on Twitter "SOSVenezuela" and "PrayforVenezuela." His post on Saturday was titled "SOSVenezuela." He met privately with Hugo Chavez in 2007, though did not speak to the press afterward.
Actor Jared Leto mentioned Venezuela in his Oscar acceptance speech. Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro also has his connections in Hollywood, including well-known Hugo Chavez supporters Danny Glover, Sean Pean and Oliver Stone.
@JaredGoyette is a digital news editor at Fusion.