Not Your Average High School Catch-Up: Venezuelan Opposition Leader and Former Political Prisoner Leopoldo López '89 Talks with Academy Award-Nominated Actor and Screenwriter Ethan Hawke '88

Former Mayor of Caracas, Leopoldo López has been "blessed" with a singular vision of freedom for Venezuela for more than two decades. In 2014 he was convicted of inciting violence and sentenced to 14 years in prison for organizing protests of the Venezuelan Government. He spent four difficult years in a military prison and one year under house arrest before seeking refuge in the Spanish embassy in Caracas, where he has been a guest for more than a year. Earlier this week, he fled Venezuela, and has now been reunited with his wife, Lilian Tintori, their three children, and his extended family in Madrid.

It has been a long road for Mr. López , who has not seen his father in six years, his mother in two, and his wife in more than a year. Still, he has never given up on the people of Venezuela, or his fight for freedom. 

 

"We need to talk about the possibility of freedom, hope, progress, and well-being of the Venezuelan people. To take a stand, speak up, and to fight for freedom, to fight for what you believe. If you do that, in a way it’s a blessing, because you bring a cause to your everyday life."

-Leopoldo López '89 

 

Despite his imprisonment and the senseless murders of colleagues and friends, Mr. López remains hopeful. Prior to his arrival in Spain, he spoke with fellow Hun School alumnus, Ethan Hawke '88, where he reflected on fighting the good fight and his hopes and plans for Venezuela's eventual freedom. 

This is a story of disruption, and of fighting the good fight to effect change and improve the lives of millions. We are honored to share it with you.

 

Watch their conversation here. 

Stay Connected