AMERICA/VENEZUELA - The Jesuits: a transitional government should prepare free and transparent elections

Tuesday, 12 March 2019 social situation   politics   local churches   missionary institutes  

Lima (Agenzia Fides) - The role of the different Venezuelan social and political actors, the position of the Countries and the transnational blocs that affect the crisis and the contribution of the Society of Jesus were the questions on which the Latin American Seminar “Research of alternative policies to the Venezuelan crisis” worked, organized in Lima from 4 to 6 March by the Conference of the provincial superiors of the Jesuit region (Cpal) together with the Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University of Lima and the Catholic University Andrés Bello in Caracas. 51 lay people and priests participated - including 19 Jesuits - from different academic areas and from various Latin American countries.
"We are aware of the fact that the causes of the current deterioration of democracy and the living conditions of the Venezuelan people are longstanding", writes Father Roberto Jaramillo, president of Cpal, in the message released at the end of the Seminar and sent to Agenzia Fides. However, the current situation is "ethically intolerable and politically unsustainable".
The Jesuits are in tune with what was written by the Venezuelan Bishops in January: "We live in a de facto regime", which does not respect constitutional guarantees or the dignity of the people.
Citing the Episcopal Conference, Jaramillo supports the fact that "the National Assembly is currently the only body that has the legitimacy to carry out its competences". After analyzing "the political, social, economic and geostrategic situation", the Jesuits reaffirm their willingness to continue to promote "political and service solutions" that rediscover human dignity, "condemning any abuse and manipulation of political power". They will therefore continue to show concrete solidarity to Venezuelan migrants in the countries that receive them and to promote specialized research, education and formation, "to help reduce the disinformation, prejudices and polarization existing in public opinion and to generate authentic solidarity".
Father Jaramillo told Fides that "a general conclusion, accepted by all the participants, is the need for a transitional government that includes a broad coalition, with actors from all the truly democratic political tendencies in Venezuela, and this government of coalition must convene general elections, free, transparent and with democratic guarantees, as soon as possible".
Among the other force-ideas that emerged during the Seminar: the impossibility of using the polarization between left and right as a criterion for analyzing the situation, in addition to the "need to be on the side of the victims, seeking help in the face of the humanitarian emergency". Furthermore - concludes the Jesuit - the international community "has to contribute to seeking political solutions without undermining the right to self-determination, but collaborating to restore dignified and democratic living conditions". (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 12/3/2019)