Venezuela descends into dictatorship

Venezuela under Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro is a textbook example of how to destroy a wealthy nation and impoverish its people with socialism. Pope Francis should take note.

Anti-Maduro demonstrators confront government authorities in Venezuela.

WASHINGTON, April 14, 2017 — In 2013, the National Assembly of Venezuela, then under socialist control, passed legislation allowing socialist President Nicolás Maduro to manage his nation’s economic affairs by decree.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

Maduro ordered businesses to cut prices by more than half and announced the arrest of “100 parasitic bourgeois managers.”

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The left-leaning Manchester Guardian claimed that Maduro’s emergency powers “were essential for the government to prevent the economy from spiraling out of control.” But Maduro’s edicts did not stem Venezuela’s economic spiral. Instead, they led to widespread famine.

Recently, the Venezuelan Supreme Court, packed with socialist jurists, ruled the duly-elected anti-socialist National Assembly “illegitimate,” granting to itself and President Maduro sole legislative authority.

“I am once again obliged to demand that the Venezuelan government immediately stop violating the rule of law,” said the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro. He demanded that Maduro “reestablish democracy, recognize the civil and political liberties of the people, and immediately end this repression.”

In a 75-page report submitted to the OAS, Belize ambassador Patrick Andrews, wrote:

“The rule of law no longer exists in Venezuela; it has been eliminated by a judiciary under the complete control of the Executive Branch that has invalidated every law passed by the National Assembly along with its constitutional powers … In Venezuela today, citizens are unable to assert their rights. If the government wishes to imprison them, it does so; if it wishes to torture them, it does so. If the government chooses, it does not bring them before a judge; if it chooses not to, it does not bring formal charges. Citizens have been left entirely at the mercy of an authoritarian regime that denies them their basic rights.”

Pope Francis, who has expressed distaste for capitalism and strong sympathies for the “social gospel” of Latin American socialism, attempted to mediate a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Venezuela’s socialist government and the democratic opposition.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro poses with Pope Francis.

But as Ambassador Andrews noted in his OAS report, Vatican intermediaries soon discovered that “outside of the work meetings … decisions are made (by the Maduro regime) that do not favor the understanding between the parties.”

As if to make its “decisions” clear to the Holy See, a pro-Maduro mob stormed the Santa Teresa Basilica in Caracas a few days before Easter and “attacked the Archbishop … [Jorge Urosa Savino] as he gave a speech encouraging freedom in Venezuela,” the Panama Post reported.

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The cardinal was rescued by seminarians who “sheltered him and took him to the sacristy.”

The murder of Thomas Becket, Bishop of Canterbury, by the barons of England’s King Henry II in 1170.

Pope Francis is discovering, as the martyred Thomas Becket knew all too well, that “God gives no harvest unless what is planted is the faith of Peter and unless he agrees to his teachings.”

President Nicolás Maduro, like authoritarian socialists in general, respects no power that is not his own.

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