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Venezuelan bishops: Government puts too much emphasis on maintaining power

.- During the opening of the 91st ordinary assembly of the Bishops’ Conference of Venezuela, conference president Archbishop Ubaldo Santana, said the government is neglecting its role in solving the problems of Venezuelans and is excessively fixated on maintaining power.

“We must demand that our leaders carry out their roles and guarantee full human rights to all,” the archbishop said, adding that the bishops consider it troubling that “excessive attention” is being paid to increasing power and that the problems of Venezuelans are being ignored.

“To leave aside the fundamental needs of the nation destroys the people and sows anarchy,” he continued.  “Human persons are more important that political structures.”

The archbishop also expressed full support for Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas in response to the latest verbal attacks against him by President Hugo Chavez.

“All Venezuelans deserve respect,” he explained, “and the Constitution guarantees the right to freely and respectfully express one’s opinion without insult.”

During his remarks, Archbishop Santana denounced the diverse signs of Venezuelan society’s decomposition, such as “anti-social gangs that have taken over public areas, sowing terror and fear.”

“Democracy does not exist if life, unrestricted transit and private property are not guaranteed,” the archbishop said.  “The lack of security cuts off four rights of all Venezuelans: integrity, life, access to justice and mobility,” he added.

The archbishop called for the creation of a climate of peace, adding that “human rights come before all political institutions. There is no excuse for violating them. We demand respect for all, the end of class warfare and disrespectful language,” he said.

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