The vice president of the Venezuelan bishops' conference has characterized the information in a recently released WikiLeaks cable as “a science fiction movie script.”
The report released Dec. 13 accused Archbishop Baltazar Porras of seeking help from the United States to contain the “regional aspirations” of Venezuelan President Chavez.
WikiLeaks published an excerpt of a 2005 cable from the U.S. embassy in Caracas, Venezuela according to which Archbishop Porras allegedly requested that the U.S. government make known its criticism of Hugo Chavez. The archbishop purportedly warned that the Venezuelan president was intending to dismantle democratic civil society, organized employment, the business sector and the Church.
Archbishop Porras explained to CNA that the WikiLeaks cable which was reprinted by the Venezuelan News Agency read like “a science-fiction movie script that has absolutely no basis.”
He said allegations that he offered the U.S. access to the infrastructure of the Church are not in keeping with “the actions of the Church” or with his actions as then-president of the Venezuelan bishops' conference. “None of these things took place,” he said.
Archbishop Porras expressed regret that the Venezuelan News Agency decided to re-print the allegations along with negative comments about the bishops. The government-run media has been engaged in an “orchestrated” campaign against numerous Church leaders in the country, he said, including Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas and Archbishop Roberto Luckert of Coro.
Such actions are intended to merely undermine the credibility of the Church among Venezuelans, he added. Church leaders in the country only seek “to serve and to simply be a voice crying out in the wilderness to make the commandment to love God and neighbor a reality,” the archbishop concluded.