.- The second vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, Archbishop Roberto Luckert, said this week that the plan by the Chavez government to centralize all authority in Caracas under one official is an abuse and a mockery and confirms that Chavez does not respect or believe in the ballot box, “but rather in using force.”
The archbishop’s comments were in reference to a plan by the National Assembly to create the office of Vice president of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas, which would be above the mayor and would be designated by the president.
Speaking on Union Radio, Archbishop Luckert recalled that the residents of Caracas elected Antonio Ledezma to be their mayor. “Why are they going to name someone else now in violation of the all the constitutional norms and of what the people expressed at the polls?” he asked.
He called the proposal an “abuse and a mockery of the Venezuelan people,” and he said it shows once again that Chavez “has never believed in elections.” “Ever since he left prison he has persuaded us to abstain, he did not believe in the power of voting but rather in the use of force,” the archbishop stated.
Mayor Ledezma also criticized the plan and said Chavez is seeking to strip power away from the opposition “through a policy of sabotage, using tactics that border on the illegal.”