Caracas, Venezuela, Aug 2, 2017 / 15:42 pm
Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas has warned President Nicolás Maduro and the high command of the armed forces that they will be accountable to God for the deaths of Venezuelans killed by military personnel and Chavista groups during demonstrations against the country's contentious Constituent Assembly.
"In the name of God, stop the repression!" exclaimed the cardinal, adding that "there are citizens who were murdered and wounded by Venezuelan military personnel and, presumably, by armed forces that act illegally and criminally. This is totally intolerable and cries out to heaven."
In statements made to the local press, the cardinal referred to the violent repression of protests against the country's July 30 election for a 545-member Constituent Assembly. The newly appointed assembly will be responsible for reforming the country's 1999 constitution. Its first sitting is scheduled for Thursday.
According to the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, more than 8 million voters – or 41 percent of the eligible population – participated in the election. However, the Democratic Election Bureau, which opposes the Maduro government, reported that only 2.4 million votes, or 12 percent of the voters, were cast in the ballot box, and a quarter of those votes were void.