Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "We cannot have a government that does not listen to its people", said the President of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela, Archbishop of Cumana, His Exc. Mgr. Diego Rafael Padrón Sánchez, with regards to the killing of three young people during the recent protests against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. In addition to Juan Montoya, leader of a 'colectivo' ( pro-government group), two students who participated in the protest died: Alejandro Dacosta and Neyder Arellano Sierra. In the note sent to Fides Agency by Union Radio, Mgr. Padrón Sánchez, who defended the march of young people because legitimate and peaceful, denounced the existence of "small violent groups that are necessary to identify, disarm and arrest".
On Wednesday, February 12 Venezuelans gathered in several parts of the capital, Caracas, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the "Battle of the Victory", historic event that recalls the war of independence of the country. On the same day the "Day of Youth" was also celebrated, to pay homage to the young people who died during the conflict. The celebration, however, became the occasion for a general outcry in defense of human rights, accusing President Maduro to suppress demonstrations against the government. The protesters criticized the use of firearms by the police to control the demonstrations and the use of anti-terror law to stop the activists, violating the constitutional right to peaceful protests.
With regards to these events, the president of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference, said: "It is the right moment for all Venezuelans to reflect and mobilize for peace. Dialogue is a key that opens doors, lowers tensions and allows to reach agreement and consensus among all". The Archbishop concluded by asking the President to "listen to the people who protest". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 14/02/2014)