Venezuela’s Maduro Orders Prosecution of Catholic Bishops for Speaking Out Against Crisis
EspañolVenezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has ordered an investigation into two Venezuelan bishops, calling them a “plague” during a speech.
Maduro said Monseñor Víctor Hugo Basabe and Antonio López Castillo might be guilty of “hate crimes” for calling for the liberation of Venezuela in their sermons.
LO ÚLTIMO | Nicolás Maduro desde la ANC pide al Tribunal Supremo de Justicia y a la Fiscalía evaluar si los obispos Antonio López Castillo y Víctior Hugo Basabe cometieron delito en homilías de la Divina Pastora: "Nadie cree en estos diablos con sotana" pic.twitter.com/cJL1foYknU
— Alberto Rodríguez (@AlbertoRodNews) January 15, 2018
Maduro went before the Constituent Assembly he illegally implemented and said the Catholic Church of Venezuela is full of “evil,” “poison,” “hatred,” “perversion” and “slander.” He urged the Prosecutor’s Office, Ombudsman’s Office, the Comptroller’s Office and the Supreme Court of Justice to deal with the issue.
“We should see … if the words issued by some of these people correspond to real hate crimes that seek to generate confrontation among Venezuelans: including such things as violence, death, exclusion and persecution,” he said.
Maduro claimed that the bishops had allegedly violated his “law against hate,” while himself calling representatives of the church “devils in a cassock.”
“Nobody listens to these people,” he said. “Nobody believes in these devils with cassock, we love the creator God, we love the Divine Shepherdess.”
Maduro is very sensitive of any and all criticisms against him, especially as the country’s crisis worsens. He was reportedly annoyed that Monsignor Basabe, the Bishop of the Diocese of San Felipe, criticized Venezuela’s food shortage that has forced thousands of people to eat from the trash.
“If anyone should leave Venezuela, it should be the person responsible for this disaster that they have led us into, the person responsible for thousands of children having crossed the line into severe malnutrition,” Basabe said.
Monsignor Antonio López Castillo asked the Virgin Mary to free the Venezuelans from hunger and corruption.
16E Desviar atención ahora con la ley contra el odio y nuestros Obispos reafirma la conducta antidemocratica propia de las Tiranías #DDHH
— Helen Fernández (@justiciasocial) January 16, 2018
Tweet: 16E To Redirect atention with the law against hate against our bishops reafirms the anti-democratic behavior of tyrants.
The Illegitimate National Constituent Assembly is promoting a “law against hate,” which has become an instrument to pressure the opposition.
The new law consists of 25 articles that allegedly prevent “all forms of hate, harassment and violence.” It establishes a prohibition on messages that “could be considered negative, and that promote war and discrimination.”
El dictador pide que la ley contra el odio se aplique a los obispos. Una atrocidad.
— Elías Pino Iturrieta (@eliaspino) January 16, 2018
Tweet: The dictator has asked that the law against hate apply to bishops. What an atrocity.
The law allows for up to 20 years in prison for inciting hatred — a term that can be applied to protesters in public spaces as well as people posting on social media.