AMERICA/VENEZUELA - The Bishops alarm after two months of violence: "Venezuela government seeks 'totalitarian' regime"

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - Venezuela's organization of Roman Catholic bishops is accusing the government of seeking totalitarian-style rule and has issued a statement which highlights "the fundamental cause of the crisis Venezuela is experiencing, the demand of President Nicolas Maduro’s government to try and impose the so-called 'Plan of the Fatherland', behind which hides the imposition of a totalitarian government". This intent has fueled protests on behalf of the opposition and citizens, which after nearly two months has caused 39 deaths, 550 serious injuries and more than 150 people detained. The document titled "Officers of Peace and democratic destiny of Venezuela" was signed by the Bishops of the CEV Presidency on 2 April 2014.
The note sent to Fides Agency by a local source, reports the intervention of Mgr. Diego Rafael Padrón Sanchez, Archbishop of Cumana and President of the CEV, who during the presentation of the statement "complained about the political polarization which took place in the country after a series of anti-government demonstrations by students last February 4, where even opposition groups joined to denounce the insecurity in the country, 57% of inflation, food shortages, repression by the National Guard and the detention of opponents".
The statement, with a very direct language says: "We reaffirm our strong request that the government disarms the armed civilian groups. Their coordinated action, according to certain patterns, demonstrates that they are not isolated or spontaneous groups, but rather trained to intervene violently. In many cases they have acted with impunity".
The statement states: "The Christian faith requires all believers to assume the responsibility for the fate of the country, not to remain indifferent but rather engage in the defense of life, human rights, freedom and democracy. Nobody living in Venezuela has to say he is not interested or concerned about the violence and deaths that are happening in cities and other places. Everyone, without exception, is responsible for the freedom, peace and democratic destiny of our country". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 03/04/2014 )