New laws consolidate state control over Venezuelans, archbishop warns


Archbishop Baltazar Porras of Merida in Venezuela warned this week that the 26 laws passed in July by President Hugo Chavez “are essentially aimed at consolidating the power and control of the State government over citizens.”  Speaking on local radio, the archbishop said the package of 26 laws is unconstitutional and shows that the government completely lacks knowledge of the law.

Archbishop Porras said the new laws are an attempt to put an end to the 1999 Constitution. “It undermines the security, tranquility, the present and the future of all Venezuelans.  This is evident in many concrete situations, such as the power outages that have become a chronic problem in some regions of the country,” he said.

In order for laws to “make any sense, they need to represent the interests, concerns and hopes of the entire populace,” the archbishop continued, saying laws should not be hastily passed without taking into consideration “all of our institutions and our people.”