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Pope Francis

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Cardinal Baltazar Porras: In Venezuela, people go hungry

2017-05-05

In one month, there have been more than 30 deaths. This is what the prosecutor of Venezuela has declared after a wave of protests that the country of Venezuela is running against Nicolás Maduro's government. The scenes exhibited in the streets show an authentic battle.

"Come on, Venezuela; elections now!"

CARD. BALTAZAR PORRAS
Archbishop of Merida (Venezuela)
"The responsibility of everything that happens is being attributed either to the opposition or to the 'empire' that wants to enter the country. Lately, what we see with greater concern, is the desire for the government to blame the Church. The desire to blame bishops for being responsible for creating this climate of violence. They have categorized us as those responsible both materially and intellectually for what is happening in the country."

This is the analysis of Cardinal Baltazar Porras and the Venezuelan bishops who have been raised as the voice of those who have no voice. The cardinal calls for a peaceful solution to the tension, which in recent weeks has manifested itself in the form of these intense rebuttals from the government. The situation is delicate, but the cardinal indicates that a civil war is impossible for a simple but dramatic reason.

CARD. BALTAZAR PORRAS
Archbishop of Merida (Venezuela)
"It is almost impossible to have a civil war because in a war one must have two armed groups and here we see that only one part has the weapons. You must see what it means to live in a society where fear penetrates the to the bone. It is through official propaganda and through the way in which they intervene, both the public force and these paramilitary groups that generate paralysis in the country."

The Venezuelan bishops say that the crisis in Venezuela is unsustainable, especially because there are human lives in danger. It is not only the insecurity that has increased, but also the lack of food, which people are fighting over.

CARD. BALTAZAR PORRAS
Archbishop of Merida (Venezuela)
"So much... unfortunately, there is so much hunger. The Venezuelan medical federation has done studies on how the weight of the population has diminished, and how the consumption of proteins has decreased enormously. Now fundamental wheat is being proportioned by the government through these famous bags that are sold, because the foreign products that can be obtained are at such astronomical prices that the vast majority of the population cannot access them.”

That is why he is pushing a peaceful solution that the Vatican wants to help find. However, as indicated in this December letter from Cardinal Parolin, four conditions are necessary for dialogue: the release of political prisoners, new elections, the National Assembly to return their powers to and International health assistance.

CARD. BALTAZAR PORRAS
Archbishop of Merida (Venezuela)
"The Vatican has always been willing, as well as the episcopal conference, to rather than being mediators, to be facilitators. The Vatican has been trying to make the parties talk based on an agenda that is not and does not have to be a political agenda, or based on party interests, but the real needs of the people is what requires an immediate solution."

The cardinal participated in a Catholic Action meeting in Rome. He says that the future is difficult in Venezuela, but despite this, it is necessary to raise ones voice so that the country returns to the peaceful home of all Venezuelans.


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