.- Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas is calling on President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to increase efforts to end “the war of crime” that exists in the country rather than threatening to attack Colombia.
Venezuelans, the cardinal said, do not want war but “peace, especially so we can live with serenity amidst the difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves.”
He went on to say that Venezuelans are already experiencing an internal war with ever-increasing crime. “That is the war which we must resolve because it is taking place on our streets,” he added, underscoring the need to seek out international mediation in order to overcome the tensions between Colombia and Venezuela.
Archbishop Roberto Luckert of Coro called on both nations to embrace peace and stressed that “everything is lost with war, with peace everything is won.”
After noting that the two countries share enough in common for there to be wide-ranging socio-political stability, the archbishop criticized the “aggressive attitude” of Chavez, which he attributed to falling approval ratings and influence from the Cuban government.
If war were to break out the archbishop said, “Where would Chavez put the four million Colombians who have lived here among us for the past five generations ?”