Venezuela’s bishops warn of nation’s suicide path

Venezuela’s bishops have warned the country’s leaders it will be suicidal to continue leading Venezuela as they are at present.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference has called upon opposition leaders to offer Venezuelans “an alternative of change.”

This will involve them working for Venezuela’s wellbeing and having greater respect for basic needs and rights.

“Attitudes of arrogance, authoritarianism and abuse of power, as well as the constant violation of human rights, are accumulating on their actors a rejection that future generations will claim,” a statement from the bishops says.

“It is suicidal to continue stubbornly insisting on a path of self-destruction that will turn against its promoters.

“Neither does it promote impunity for crimes that threaten life and fundamental rights.”

The bishops’ statement outlines a number of problems the country is facing.

These include “monstrous hyperinflation” and notes the quality of life for the majority of Venezuelans, which was “already extremely precarious, is deteriorating day by day.”

Food shortages, reduced healthcare supplies and problems with public services such as water and electricity, concerns surrounding personal safety, employment, the circulation and sale of cash, and interruptions of public transport are all listed in the bishops’ statement as being of concern.

The bishops blame President Nicolas Maduro’s government “for putting its political project over any other consideration, including the humanitarian.”

They say “erroneous” financial policies and the government’s “contempt for productive activity and for private property and for its constant attitude of placing obstacles in the way of those who want to resolve some aspect of the current problem,” are at the root of the current problems Venezuela is facing.

The bishops’ statement also rejects the National Constituent Assembly and elections held in May.

They agree with many Venezuelans in saying both the Assembly and elections were illegitimate, and say the government is seeking to impose “a totalitarian ideology.”

The bishops have invited the public to look for creative solutions and are urging parishes and church institutions to exercise greater solidarity with people who are suffering.

They point out the Church community is called “to promote a structural change in favour of the transformation of our society.”


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