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Church leaders press Venezuelan government on human rights

December 07, 2016

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas has said that the government of Venezuela must fulfill its commitments to preserve a fragile dialogue with opposition leaders.

“We must set the many political prisoners free,” said the cardinal, citing one of the promises made by the government in November in order to forestall a national crisis. The government and opposition leaders are currently engaged in talks, mediated by the Church, to resolve a political impasse. But opposition leaders have questioned the government’s commitment to the dialogue, and Catholic officials have pushed for action from the government. Cardinal Urosa observed that “the issues we have are very serious,” and said that dialogue could proceed only if the government meets its conditions.

In a related development, the Justice and Peace commission of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference denounced the killing of twelve young people, whose bodies were found in a mass grave in the Miranda state. The commission reported that the young people disappeared after they had apparently been stopped by security forces in October. State officials, the commission said, “have not fulfilled their obligations to prevent violations of human rights.”

 
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