AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Letter of the Prior of the Dominicans: "The situation is terrible, people suffer from hunger, human rights are violated"

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 missionary institutes   orders   politics   poverty  


Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "The situation in Venezuela is terrible" and "the population suffers from hunger": these expressions highlight the difficult and painful situation faced by Venezuelans and are found in a letter that the Regional Prior of the Vicariate of the Province of Our Lady of the Rosary, Friar Angelo Villasmil OP, addressed to the Dominicans of his province and of Latin America and the Caribbean, also sent to Fides.
Friar Angelo provides details on the main factors that "characterize the terrible situation in Venezuela: inflation, food shortages and insecurity". It also denounces "the systematic violation of human rights", which is "one of the most painful features of the current situation in the Country", describing the "climate of social tension" that unfortunately prevails.
After various demonstrations, we see the reaction of the government, the letter states: "more than a hundred political prisoners, many tortured and killed. And all this in a climate of absolute impunity".
One of the most serious problems, reports the Prior, is "the block of information imposed by the government communication apparatus. From the social networks we learn of people dying for lack of medicines, of hunger or due to the repressive effects of the State as part of the protests and looting taking place in the country".
With regard to insecurity, "we do not know the official figures of the dead who are killed by organized crime. The streets of Caracas and major cities of the country, as night falls, become desolate and deserted.
This is not just the work of common criminals. Organized criminal gangs commit murders, kidnappings and extort bribes to the population".
"Is there a way out of the situation in Venezuela? That is what we hope, although we know that a constitutional and peaceful solution is more and more difficult, as the government is blocking all channels that could lead to a peaceful solution", says the letter.
"The Bishops' Conference, through press releases, is rather critical towards the government", reads the final part of the letter, which continues: "We are aware that at some point, as a Church, we will have to undergo what could be the assault of the government". Friar Angelo concludes: "It is the Church that has raised its voice before the crisis and in favor of the Venezuelans. It is the Church who denounced the abuses and human rights violations in the country. That is why we do not doubt that the Church may be attacked". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 14/06/2016)