AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Support from 12 countries with regards to the dialogue between government and opposition, the Church is the only institution that people trust

Monday, 25 September 2017


Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - Foreign ministers from 12 US countries consider the new relations of the Venezuelan government with the opposition very positive, but they believe that they should be developed with international support, in "good faith", and with "clear objectives". This is what was stated in the statement published on Saturday, September 23 in Bogotá, by the Foreign Ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru. Last week, representatives of the Venezuelan government and opposition gathered in the Dominican Republic for meetings that the opposition described as "explorative", while the government said it was a formal dialogue. Such negotiations which started in the Dominican Republic should continue on 27 September.
In the "Declaration of the second meeting of the Group of Lima on the situation in Venezuela", the Foreign Ministers of the 12 countries reiterated their "commitment to keep a close eye on the situation in Venezuela" until the "full reinstatement of democratic order in the country". At the same time, they agreed to meet in Canada in October, the date has still to be established, and reiterated their "commitment to double efforts to reach a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis in Venezuela". They also stressed their "willingness to help create, in coordination with international organizations and other countries, a channel of assistance to address the country's afflicting humanitarian crisis".
Mgr. Mario del Valle Moronta Rodríguez, Bishop of San Cristobal de Venezuela, said that people recognize the Church as the only institution to trust. He said this in response to the accusation made by the government that on 17 September used the word "Bandidos" to refer to the
Bishops asserting that these were not close to people.
Mgr. Moronta, in a letter published by the Bishops' Conference and also sent to Fides, did not hesitate to clarify the issue: "Bishop bandits: do not protect people, do not walk like Christ in the streets of the people, do not suffer, do not share solidarity with the people", but these accusations are not only offensive, but authentic calamny, Mgr. Moronta replied.
"It is common to see the Bishops in the streets, not for a walk, but to visit parishes and communities, to bring the service of charity, and with a characteristic: they go without body guards or protection. It is precisely the opposite of rulers and officials who for a long time no longer walk in the streets of the country ... ". " We Bishops accept criticism, but reject offenses and calumnies; we will continue to walk alongside the people, people who are suffering, robbed by 'other' criminals and bandits who live in corruption", concluded Mgr. Moronta. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 25/09/2017)