CARACAS, Wednesday July 07, 2010 | Update
“The president (Hugo Chávez) does not reflect upon criticisms,” Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino said (Photo: Cheo Pacheco)
Jorge Cardinal Urosa Savino issued a statement from Rome saying that President Hugo Chávez Frías has no right to insult, defame or slander any Venezuelan.
"The president has insulted me several times, thus exposing me to mockery. I strongly reject such attacks that are unbecoming for such a person," Cardinal Urosa said in his statement.
He reiterated his complaints about the situation facing Venezuela. "Today, I am responding to the assaults against the bishops and against me, because rather that rejecting the offenses we are trying to denounce the dangerous situation facing our beloved motherland."
The Church leader clarified that he is not under pressure from any sector. Urosa Savino added that he has made some statements about Venezuela's situation in the media that have been "regrettably" misinterpreted by President Hugo Chávez.
He said that the Venezuelan ruler "rather than reflecting upon the arguments and changing his behavior is discrediting and attacking us."
Cardinal Urosa Savino said in a statement that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and his government are disregarding the Constitution and "want to impose a Socialist-Marxist system in the country to control all sectors. This system is totalitarian and is leading to dictatorship; not to proletarian dictatorship but to dictatorship led by the elite who is ruling the country."
He stressed that attempts at leading the country to this system of government opposes to the wishes of the Venezuelan people who already rejected the implementation of a socialist system in previous elections.
"The government wants to impose a Marxist regime through unconstitutional laws, as the president has proclaimed," Cardinal Urosa said.
He criticized government attempts to "control all production means through gradual monopolization of imports, distribution and marketing of foodstuffs." He said that this position is "in line with the purpose of dismantling the domestic production system. The aim is to make people depend on the government to eat."
He recalled President Chávez that the appointment of all bishops depends on the Catholic Church and "more precisely depends on the Holy Father, following serious consultations with the Church community. They are not appointed by politicians," he said.
Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.