Venezuelan Cardinal Jorge Urosa warns President Maduro over deaths of protestors

Venezuelan Cardinal Jorge Urosa warns President Maduro over deaths of protestors

Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro speaks at a rally in Caracas in support calling a constituent assembly, May 23, 2017. Credit: Marco Salgado/Shutterstock.

.- Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas has warned President Nicolás Maduro and the high command of the armed forces that they will be accountable to God for the deaths of Venezuelans killed by military personnel and Chavista groups during demonstrations against the country’s contentious Constituent Assembly.

“In the name of God, stop the repression!” exclaimed the cardinal, adding that “there are citizens who were murdered and wounded by Venezuelan military personnel and, presumably, by armed forces that act illegally and criminally. This is totally intolerable and cries out to heaven.”

In statements made to the local press, the cardinal referred to the violent repression of protests against the country’s July 30 election for a 545-member Constituent Assembly. The newly appointed assembly will be responsible for reforming the country’s 1999 constitution. Its first sitting is scheduled for Thursday.

According to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, more than 8 million voters – or 41 percent of the eligible population – participated in the election. However, the Democratic Election Bureau, which opposes the Maduro government, reported that only 2.4 million votes, or 12 percent of the voters, were cast in the ballot box, and a quarter of those votes were void.

The country’s opposition-controlled legislature, the National Assembly, has stated it is committed to “all measures and actions to depose the Constituent Assembly,” and that the country owes “no obedience” to any constitutional changes.

The governments of the United States, Peru, Colombia, Panama, Mexico, Argentina, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Canada, Brazil, as well as the European Union, announced that they will not recognize the Constituent Assembly promoted by Maduro.

Following the election, at least 10 people have died in protests against the regime, though other sources report higher numbers of dead. Over 100 people have been confirmed to have been killed in protests against the Maduro government since April, according to Venezuela’s Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Díaz.

The Venezuelan bishops have repeatedly spoken out against the ballot measure, and called to a peaceful resolution to the country’s economic and political problems.

Cardinal Urosa spoke out against the killings, saying that those in charge of the Venezuelan government who are responsible for soldiers attacking Venezuelan citizens “must give an account before God, our Lord, and before the laws.”

He also criticized the electoral process promoted by the regime despite strong opposition from the population.

“With these results, the Constituent Assembly can not be erected with the superpower to repeal the State and the Constitution of 1999. It is an illegitimate process with a comically absurd foundation that detracts from the electoral power of citizens. You can not impose a fraudulent and illegitimate and totally invalid instrument when the people did not vote,” the cardinal said.

On Wednesday Smartmatic, the company in charge of the electronic voting system used in Venezuela’s Sunday elections, stated that “in the past elections of the National Constituent Assembly there was manipulation of participation data.”

“The difference between the number announced (by the Government) and the one that the system gives is at least one million voters,” the organization said.

At a press conference from London, Smartmatic Executive Director Antonio Mugica said that for the time being they could not specify the exact amount of the voter discrepancy, but that “an audit would allow them to know the exact amount of participation.”

Smartmatic is a multinational firm that has provided the technological platform of voting and services for the elections in the South American country since 2004.

Venezuela’s electoral commission has dismissed Smartmatic’s claim as “irresponsible” and “unfounded.”

The Venezuelan bishops’ conference has tweeted asking that the “Blessed Virgin, Mother of Coromoto, heavenly Patron of Venezuela, may liberate our country from the clutches of communism and socialism.”

Previously, the Venezuelan bishops have repeatedly spoken out against the ballot measure, and called to a peaceful resolution to the country’s economic and political problems.

Venezuela faces high inflation and shortages of necessities like food, housing, and medical supplies, following dropping oil prices in recent years.

The bishops have also asked the laity to “pray for Venezuela.” In another prayer posted to Twitter, the bishops ask that the people of Venezuela be “identified with the respect for the human person, liberty, justice and a commitment to the common good.”

They also restated the importance of love for all, solidarity of the poor, and the necessity of “working for reconciliation and peace.”

Read the source: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/venezuelan-cardinal-warns-president-maduro-over-deaths-of-protestors-44679/

(Anyul Rivas via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).)
 |  AUG. 2, 2017

Vatican Is Committed to Seeking Peaceful Solution to Venezuela Crisis

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that he and Pope Francis are ‘seeking to help all’ for ‘the good of the people.’

VATICAN CITY — After violence followed a controversial vote in Venezuela this weekend, the Vatican secretary of state has encouraged the country’s citizens to find a “peaceful and democratic” way out of the crisis.

The violence comes on the heels of a vote for an assembly charged by the country’s socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, with writing a new constitution.

According to ANSA news agency, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that he and Pope Francis are “very committed” to seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela. The Vatican has been “seeking to help all, indiscriminately, and calling each person to fulfill their own responsibility.”

“The criteria should be only the good of the people,” he said. “The dead are too many.”

Cardinal Parolin said that “it is necessary to find a peaceful and democratic way to get out of this situation, and the only way is always the same: We must find, talk, but seriously, to find a way to solution.”

His statements come only days after July 30 nationwide elections, which approved a constitutional assembly to reform the country’s 1999 constitution. However, some reports and members of Venezuela’s opposition have disputed the fairness of the elections, which were boycotted by the opposition.

Although the government claims that more than 8 million voters attended, the Democratic Unity Table, an organization monitoring the election, reported that only 2.4 million votes, making up 12% of eligible voters, were cast, of which a quarter would have voted “No.”

Two opposition leaders, Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma, were re-arrested following the vote.

Furthermore, in the days leading up to and following the election, uprisings and protests swept through the country. Conflicts between protesters and the country’s Bolivarian National Guard have resulted in the deaths of at least 15 people, including two minors.

According to critic of the Maduro regime Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz, “10 people lost their lives surrounding Sunday’s vicious election, totaling 121 deaths since the protests began in April.”

The constitutional revisions have been rejected by the Venezuelan bishops for being not only “unconstitutional, but also unnecessary, inconvenient and harmful for the Venezuelan people.”

In their message July 27, the bishops said that Maduro’s initiative “has not been convened by the people, has unacceptable commissions, and only the partisans of the ruling party will be represented there.”

“It will be a biased instrument that will not solve, but will aggravate, the acute problems of high cost of living, the shortage of food and medicines that [results in the] suffer[ing of] the people, and deepen and worsen the deep political crisis we currently face.”

Read the source: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/vatican-is-committed-to-seeking-peaceful-solution-to-venezuela-crisis

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“The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modern times with ‘communism’ or ‘socialism’. She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of ‘capitalism,’ individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for ‘there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.’ Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended” (CCC:2425).

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