.- Archbishop Baltazar Porras Cardoso of Merida, Colombia, who is also the vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, said this week the war threats President Hugo Chavez made against Colombia and the United States on Monday are only an attempt to cover up the grave crisis that has gripped Venezuela.
According to Caracol Radio, the archbishop explained that Chavez lacks the wisdom to overcome differences and that his threats come even as “our country is plagued by deteriorating roadways, unjustified rationing of electricity, and worst of all, the problems of insecurity and violent deaths.”
He also announced that the presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador would meet at the end of November to discuss the diplomatic crisis.
The archbishop’s criticisms have dove-tailed with those of various Venezuelan analysts who assert that Chavez is keeping the country in conflict and threatens war continuously as a “smoke-screen” to cover up the crisis.
In Colombia, Bishop Carlos Gomez Meza of Arauca on the border with Venezuela said the Chavez government has put up billboards in the region threatening war. “There has been a billboard here announcing war for some time,” he stated. “It says, 'don’t you dare step foot on Venezuelan territory,' and the people here are used to this, they are very prudent,” the bishop said.