.- The vice president of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, Archbishop Roberto Luckert, has called on the leader of the National Assembly, Cilia Flores, to clarify what the definition of the State and the government is according to Chavez's proposed constitutional reform. If the two concepts are confused, the archbishop said, “then we are dealing with a Caribbean version of the French sun king (Louis XIV), in which the State was the king. Likewise, in this reform it would seem the State is Hugo Chavez.”
Archbishop Luckert said the Chavez reforms would make Venezuela a Socialist state, in contrast to the federal and democratic state established by the previous constitution. He warned that the model for this new state is Cuba, but he said Venezuelans would not allow themselves “to be trampled like Cuba was, because they came out of the Batista dictatorship only to fall into Fidel’s. We still have a little bit of freedom to discern, to choose a different Venezuela because we do want a different one, but one that is under democracy and not repression,” he said.
The archbishop said Venezuelans should learn from the example of Cuba, which he called “a failed island” which young people seek to escape from, “because they are not happy with that system and the repressive oppression of that nation.”