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Chavista Paramilitaries Attack Archbishop of Caracas in the Middle of Mass

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Apr 13, 2017, 2:39 pm
Chavista Paramilitaries Attack Archbishop
Bolivarian National Police did not intervene to protect the archbishop or parishioners. (La Patilla)

EspañolDuring the procession of the Nazarene of St. Paul in the Basilica Santa Teresa, Chavista groups under the government’s control attacked the Archbishop of Caracas as he gave a speech encouraging freedom in Venezuela.

The aggressors pushed Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, Archbishop of Caracas, while presbyters and seminarians sheltered him and took him to the sacristy.

Venezuelan journalist Alberto Rodríguez reported that officials of the National Police did not intervene to protect the archbishop or parishioners.

According to opposition leader Antonio Ecarri, during the aggression the Chavista groups also stole property from the church.

Simultaneously, the Bishop of San Cristobal, Mario Moronta, denounced death threats against priests in San Cristóbal Wednesday, April 12.

Several churches around the city are covered with offensive graffiti  and threats against priests.

“The priests of our Diocese of San Cristóbal do not fret or feel intimidated by these immoral threats,” Moronta said in a statement. “On the contrary, it is a new opportunity to reaffirm the configuration of the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep.”

This is not the first time that the Catholic Church in Venezuela has been a victim of intimidation by President Nicolás Maduro’s administration.

On January 30, President of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference Diego Padrón spoke out against repeated actions to intimidate the Catholic Church. At that time, several churches in the country were attacked by alleged Chavista groups.

“There seems to be some line and element that unites them,” he said of the attacks. “They are not isolated events but it seems that these are events prepared to intimidate the Catholic Church, which has had a very clear position about the government, and in pointing out the difficulties and problems and the crisis that the country lives in.”

Sources: El Nacional; Efecto Cocuyo

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Colombia’s Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Is One of Latin America’s False Heroes

By: Javier Garay - @Crittiko - Apr 13, 2017, 1:15 pm
bogotazo

EspañolColombia commemorated 69 years of "Bogotazo" this week. It's the name given to the violence that destroyed an important part of the capital city of Bogota after the assassination of political leader Jorge Eliécer Gaitán. Much has been speculated about his death: who killed him, and if it was the result of an armed conflict. Gaitan has turned into a martyr. What is the image of a hero/martyr? Like many other cases in Latin America, including that of the current Pepe Mujica, the story is told in a selective way. The main requirement to become a hero — if not Mujica — is to know how to give a good speech and to rally the most disadvantaged and poor. As a result, image makers in the region, opinion makers —  a mix of media, intellectuals, academics, politicians and some citizens — have enough fodder to build up fake heroes. What it reflects, however, is their own mistaken vision of what the state and its politics really are. They keep the superficial discourse but do not go into the actual implications of what they argue. Despite Gaitán's rhetoric in favor of the most disadvantaged, it really only served to create a feeling of superiority for him. Gaitan was a leader who spoke to the poor as if they were children, as if they were incapable and as if their practices were despicable.   googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Gaitan is perhaps one of the most statist characters in the history of Colombian politics. He flirted with the fascist right, as well as the Argentine Perones and even the Venezuelan chavistas, and was a self-declared follower of the doctrines of the communist left. He questioned the concept of private property by asking whether its limits and uses should have social, collective considerations. As if that were not enough, Gaitan criticized the exercise of political power when it was not he who handled it. He was considered the only one capable, mentally and morally, of exercising power without corruption. But this never came to fruition, given the brevity of his time in the Bogota Mayor's Office. Read More: Venezuela: Where Spying is National Pride Read More: Mexican President Pledges to Help Venezuelan Democracy after Meeting with Political Prisoner’s Family In spite of his failure to execute, he continued to criticize those who came to power (as long as they were not him). This didn't prevent him from making alliances with anyone that could bring him closer to the Colombian presidency. Neither did it prevent him from using the rhetoric of social classes and posing as an enemy of the elites. He was not born as part of them. His studies and the positions he occupied are an example of social mobility in a period in which that was almost unthinkable. We must analyze Gaitan the man and not the image that has been created and maintained through present day. As the cases of Chavez, Maduro, Mujica, Kirchner, Peron, Trujillo, Árbenz, Allende and the many thousands of fake heroes that have been constructed prove, we continue to insist on giving the wrong ideas a chance. In Latin America, we have not dared to recognize that the problem lies in ideas and not in whoever carries them out.

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