.- Archbishop Baltazar Porras of Merida said this week the 21st century Socialism touted by the Venezuelan government is ideologically vague, aims to “distract attention,” and “seems more like a supermarket.”
During an interview on Union Radio, the archbishop noted the government’s discomfort with a new document issued by the Venezuelan Bishops’ Conference, which demands that the government define 21st century Socialism. Archbishop Porras characterized it as populist, authoritarian, and militaristic.
The archbishop also urged Venezuelans to understand that “democracy is not built upon authoritarianism or the loss of the autonomy which is proper to the different branches of government.” He warned against proposals to suppress the power of mayors and city councils.
Such proposals, which have been put forth by President Hugo Chavez, could lead to “a weakening of local authority,” Archbishop Porras asserted, “because city councils would be able to solve very immediate and small problems, but everything else would depend on the central government, and this would constitute a significant step backwards.”