Venezuelan lay group rejects Chavez’s authoritarian laws


The National Council of Laity in Venezuela expressed its rejection this week of a package of 26 laws passed by President Hugo Chavez last July, saying they violate fundamental human rights and imply control of citizens by the State.

After a detailed analysis of the legislative package, the Council warned that the laws are ideologically driven and would impose greater control over Venezuelans and their property, over public institutions and the economy and a greater concentration of centralized power.

The group said the laws run contrary to what voters approved in a December 2, 2007 referendum, “violating the will of the country” and constituting anti-democratic measures.

The laws are contrary to the “fundamental values and principles of the Gospel and the Church’s Social Doctrine,” which promote “respect for the dignity of the human person, for truth, freedom, justice, the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the free and responsible participation in the democratic construction of a nation,” the Council said.

The group encouraged all “those concerned about the wellbeing of the country to faithfully commit to working for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence among all Venezuelans,” as well as to fulfill their right and duty to participate in the next elections of November 23.

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