Venezuelan bishops say Chavez moving toward totalitarian rule
January 12, 2011
The Catholic bishops of Venezuela have called upon President Hugo Chavez to forego the special powers that were granted to him by the nation’s legislator.
In a January 11 statement, the Venezuelan bishops’ conference said that the extraordinary presidential powers, which would allow Chavez to govern by decree, move the country toward totalitarian rule. Chavez is unlikely to follow the bishops’ advice; he actively sought the new authority.
The Venezuelan bishops have been frequent critics of the Chavez regime, warning that he has squelched democratic opposition. Chavez in turn has accused the Catholic hierarchy of catering to the elite.