AMERICA/VENEZUELA - The priorities of the Bishops: entry of medicines, opening of the border, political prisoners

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 evangelization   economy   democracy   area crisis   episcopal conferences  

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - "The Archbishops and Bishops of Venezuela, gathered in the 106th Ordinary Assembly, want to share the anguish with the Venezuelan people and want to communicate the hope that, reconciled and through dialogue, we will find effective solutions to this crisis": this is how the final exhortation published yesterday afternoon and sent to Fides by the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela (CEV) (see Fides 08/07/2016) begins. The exhortation, dated July 12, 2016, is entitled "El Señor ama al que busca la justicia" (Prov. 15: 9).
After a brief description of the social reality that the country is living, the Bishops point out some urgent needs. "We are on the brink of a food and health security crisis, with social consequences – they warned -. Before this, the growth of military power is a threat to tranquility and peace". Violence and insecurity are everywhere, note the Bishops stressing the aggression on the seminarians (see Fides 02/07/2016). The text points out that "the Venezuelan cultural identity is diminished and even lost when it is evaluated only if it is linked to the prevailing political project .... Democracy in Venezuela is marred".
However "the moral crisis is greater than the economic and political crisis, because it affects the entire population in the rules of conduct. The truth gives way to lies, transparency to corruption, dialogue to intolerance and coexistence to anarchy".
Therefore the Bishops list three main requests:
1.- "There is an urgent priority: the government has to allow the entry of medicines in the country, given their severe shortage. For the collection and distribution, the Church offers its services and infrastructure of Caritas, as other forms of cooperation open to other faiths and private institutions. This service is not the ultimate solution, but it is a significant help".
2.- "There is need to definitely open the Colombian-Venezuelan border. After allowing its opening last Sunday, July 10, it was possible for many brothers to stock up on food, medicine and other supplies. The passage of thousands of citizens in the neighboring country is the proof of the crisis.
3.- "The number of Venezuelan citizens held in prisons increases, unjustly deprived of their freedom, many of them for political reasons. The vast majority live in inhumane conditions and without a trial. These people, being innocent, must be released from prison, or at least they should receive a fair trial, as determined by the code of criminal procedure". (CE) (Agenzia Fides 13/07/2016)