Archbishop rejects incursion of paramilitary groups into Venezuela

In the wake of the discovery of paramilitary groups in Venezuela, Archbishop Jorge Urosa Savino of Valencia is calling on Venezuelans to “reject all forms of armed, guerilla, paramilitary or political violence,” adding that “the problems of Venezuela should be solved by all Venezuelans.”

The Archbishop expressed his concern regarding the latest events in the country and he said that as a Venezuelan and as a Bishop he rejects “the presence in our country of any foreign armed group, legitimate or otherwise, when there is no reason for there to be any guerrillas or paramilitary groups, or soldiers from any other country actively participating in our political or military spheres.”

“The discovery of paramilitary groups near El Hatillo reaffirms the need for Venezuelans to solve the problems of Venezuela, through the avenues specifically laid out in the Constitution and in our laws,” he explained, and he called for a “peaceful, electoral and democratic solution” to the country’s crisis.

“The Venezuelan Episcopate, as promoters of peace, aspires for the promotion of peace in Venezuela.  We do not identify ourselves with any political party.  Not with the government, nor with the opposition, but rather with the great values and the profound needs of the Venezuelan people, who we serve as shepherds of the Church of God,” the Archbishop underscored.

“The most important thing,” he added, “is that we all promote and engage in dialogue, understanding and the solution of our conflicts through the constitutionally outlined avenues.”

At the same time, Archbishop Urosa said it is necessary that the country’s institutions act in accord with Constitutional dictates.  “Specifically, the National Electoral Council should take up the recall referendum, which has been called for by a great number of Venezuelans.”

“We need to reflect for a moment and not fall prey to an escalation of violent armed conflicts or to the application of sanctions which, quite possibly, may not be well-founded upon the facts,” he concluded.

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