Bishops advise the army to serve the nation
Prelates require electioneering free from violence or opportunism
Rather than a government supporter or dissenter, the army "is at the service of the nation instead of any political faction; it is the guarantor of constitutionality and observant of voters' will."
In a direct message to (the electoral security and protection operation) Plan República, the members of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference (CEV) required the military officers to "ensure the safe, peaceful and reliable development" of the presidential election next October 7.
The notice was issued on Thursday at the end of the CEV 98th regular plenary meeting. It was a hectic event, including a meeting with a government delegation led by Vice-President Elías Jaua, the first one after more than five years, and another with the presidential candidate for the opposition Democratic Unified Panel (MUD), Henrique Capriles Radonski.
Unlike previous occasions, the CEV members would not make a pastoral appeal. Instead, they issued a press release entitled "Ahead of the next election," and advocated the call made by Pope Benedict XVI for Venezuelans to vote in a sensible manner.
The very early morning after the presidential election (April 15), both candidates requested the National Electoral Council (CNE) to conduct a full audit of the process: one, Henrique Capriles, because he asserts that the election results are different from the ones announced, and the other one, Nicolás Maduro, in order to clear any doubt regarding his victory, and to reinforce his political stance. Nevertheless, as it is already known, President Maduro changed his mind.