«Dios consolará a su pueblo» (Isaías 49, 13)

I.  INTRODUCCIÓN

  1. Al comenzar el nuevo año, nosotros, los Obispos de Venezuela, reunidos en la CIX Asamblea Ordinaria enviamos a todos los venezolanos, dentro y fuera del país, un fraterno y caluroso saludo. Con la elección de una nueva Junta Directiva iniciamos un nuevo trienio de trabajo.  Como pastores, en continuo acompañamiento a nuestro pueblo, experimentamos las graves y tristes situaciones que dibujan un panorama negativo y desolador.  Nos hacemos eco de las palabras del santo Padre Francisco ante el Cuerpo Diplomático acreditado en la Santa Sede el pasado 8 de enero: «Pienso especialmente en la querida Venezuela, que está atravesando una crisis política y humanitaria, cada vez más dramática y sin precedentes…».  Creemos profundamente que Dios no abandona a su pueblo.

 II.  REALIDAD DE TRAGEDIA Y SUFRIMIENTO

2. Las políticas del gobierno han llevado a los ciudadanos a una gran dependencia de los organismos del Estado. Esto ha generado una contracción de la libre iniciativa, del emprendimiento, de la capacidad de las personas y las empresas para crear empleo y del estímulo para una mejor formación profesional.  Las medidas que el gobierno implementa para dar alimento al pueblo son insuficientes y tienden a crear mendicidad y mayor dependencia.  Por otra parte, las políticas sociales y económicas están infectadas del morbo de la corrupción.  Además, el férreo y prolongado control de divisas es un freno injusto al desarrollo de la empresa privada.  Estas políticas han dado como resultado aumento de la pobreza, desempleo, carencia de bienes básicos, descontento y desesperanza general.

 

  1. El éxodo de millones de venezolanos que buscan nuevos horizontes nos duele profundamente, así como las fórmulas desesperadas para huir del país. Cabe mencionar aquí el drama reciente del naufragio de una embarcación con un número importante de venezolanos que concluyó con la trágica muerte de un grupo significativo de ellos.  Presagio, Dios no lo permita, del inicio, en nuestro entorno, de la múltiple y dolorosa experiencia de nuestros vecinos, en particular, cubanos y haitianos.  Como ya hemos advertido los Obispos: «La raíz de los problemas (del país) está en la implantación de un proyecto político totalitario, empobrecedor, rentista y centralizado que el gobierno se empeña en mantener» (CEV, «El Señor ama el que busca la justicia», 12-07-2016)

 

  1. La Asamblea Nacional Constituyente es inconstitucional e ilegítima en su origen y en su desempeño. En vez de limitarse a redactar una nueva Constitución pretende erigirse en un supra poder con funciones ejecutivas y judiciales.  El gobierno, con la «Ley contra el Odio y la Intolerancia», nacida de la misma Asamblea, criminaliza toda manifestación en su contra y propicia la multiplicación y difusión de toda clase de rumores y especulaciones, cuyo efecto es consolidar un control absoluto de actividades y provocar el miedo y la autocensura.

 

  1. Con la suspensión del referéndum revocatorio y la creación de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente, el Gobierno usurpó al pueblo su poder originario. Los resultados los está padeciendo el mismo pueblo que ve empeorar día tras día su situación.  No habrá una verdadera solución de los problemas del país hasta tanto el pueblo no recupere totalmente el ejercicio de su poder.

 

  1. Las dificultades de entendimiento cada vez más graves entre el gobierno y la oposición política, a falta de un punto de apoyo común que se respete en la realidad, como debería ser la Constitución vigente, exigen al pueblo que asuma su vocación de ser sujeto social con sus capacidades de realizar iniciativas como, por ejemplo, que la sociedad civil lleve adelante una consulta para señalar el rumbo que quiere dar a la nación como prevé nuestra Carta Magna (Cfr. Art.  71).  Si se negara este derecho o se entorpecieran las iniciativas para concretarlo, sólo quedarían dos posibilidades: pérdida definitiva de la libertad, con todas sus consecuencias, o acciones de resistencia y rebeldía contra el poder usurpador.  Es el pueblo organizado quien tiene la última palabra.  En unión con la mayoría de los venezolanos anhelamos que la dirigencia política y la sociedad civil presenten un proyecto de país creíble y realizable.

 

  1. El Consejo Nacional Electoral tiene que ser reestructurado para que cumpla con la imparcialidad que le pide la Constitución vigente. Solo así actuará con transparencia y equidad en sus funciones y garantizará el respeto a las decisiones del pueblo.  Ante las próximas elecciones debe contarse con la presencia y supervisión de Observadores por parte de reconocidos Organismos Internacionales.

 

  1. Ante la dramática situación que afecta a todos, especialmente a los más pobres, hay dos actitudes: la conformista y resignada, de quienes quieren vivir de las dádivas, regalos y asistencialismo populista del gobierno y otra, la de quienes, conscientes de la gravedad de los problemas, buscan instaurar unas condiciones de verdad, justicia e inclusión, aún a riesgo del rechazo y la persecución. La actitud de resignación es paralizante y en nada contribuye al mejoramiento de la situación.  Lo positivo y lo eficaz es el compromiso, la esperanza y la solidaridad.  ¡Despierta y reacciona, es el momento!, lema de la segunda visita de san Juan Pablo II a Venezuela (1996), resuena en esta hora aciaga de la vida nacional.  Despertar y reaccionar es percatarse de que el poder del pueblo supera cualquier otro poder.

 

III.  CAMINOS PARA LA RECUPERACIÓN

  1. Este momento requiere de una gran dosis de esperanza junto a acciones concretas que contribuyan a mejorar las condiciones de vida, a dignificar a las personas, y a fortalecer a las familias y comunidades a las que pertenecemos.

 

  1. La emergencia económica y social hace indispensable que el Gobierno permita un Canal Humanitario. La desnutrición ha sido verificada científicamente, las muertes por inanición conmueven, las protestas por el hambre cunden en todo el país.  Las diócesis, parroquias, Caritas y otras instituciones y ONGs están haciendo lo posible, para ayudar con alimento y medicinas a quienes los necesiten.  Por sensibilidad humana abogan por el derecho de los más necesitados.  Además, por nuestra condición de cristianos, el amor de Cristo nos urge a socorrer al prójimo (cf.  2 Co 5,14).  Promovamos y mantengamos en nuestras parroquias, comunidades, centros de pastoral y colegios las iniciativas de solidaridad que están dando respuesta inmediata y fraterna a necesidades concretas.  En esta dirección se desarrollará la próxima Campaña Compartir durante la Cuaresma.

 

  1. Venezuela necesita un cambio de rumbo. El Ejecutivo ha fracasado en su tarea de garantizar el bienestar de la población: ni los servicios públicos, ni la industria petrolera, ni los cuerpos de seguridad, ni la sanidad pública, ni otros organismos han sabido responder a las necesidades de la gente.  Las elecciones son el medio democrático para lograr ese cambio de rumbo.  Exigimos la publicación de un cronograma electoral.  El Papa Francisco, en el citado discurso al Cuerpo Diplomático, añadió: «La Santa Sede, mientras exhorta a responder sin demora a las necesidades primarias de la población, desea que se creen las condiciones para que las elecciones previstas para el año en curso logren dar inicio a la solución de los conflictos existentes, y se pueda mirar al futuro con renovada serenidad»

 

  1. La libertad es un derecho humano inalienable, no negociable, y una exigencia de la democracia. Manifestamos nuestra solidaridad con los centenares de presos políticos, exiliados y detenidos por cualquier causa, muchos en situaciones infrahumanas, enfermos, privados de visitas familiares, a los cuales se les niega el derecho a un debido proceso.  Deben gozar de libertad plena.  Los organismos del Estado tienen que investigar las denuncias sobre las torturas y castigar a los responsables según las leyes.

 

  1. El diálogo y la negociación entre Gobierno y representantes de la Oposición, en principio, son inobjetables y necesarios. Sin embargo, deben darse en condiciones distintas de las que hasta ahora se han establecido.  Es indispensable un reconocimiento y respeto institucional.  Toda negociación ha de fundamentarse en la integridad de los negociadores, en objetivos claros y en una agenda preestablecida y conocida, para que pueda gozar de la confianza y credibilidad de la población.

IV. CONCLUSIÓN
14. La Virgen María acompaña nuestro sufrimiento. Ella peregrina con nosotros en esta hora de nuestra historia.  En el rostro indígena de nuestra Madre de Coromoto vemos reflejado el sufrimiento, los trabajos y los anhelos de nuestro pueblo.  En el Niño que ella nos entrega descubrimos la cercanía de Dios y su infinito amor, que nos garantiza el destino glorioso del pueblo en libertad, justicia y paz.

Con nuestra afectuosa bendición,

Los Arzobispos y Obispos de Venezuela

Caracas, 12 de enero de 2018

 

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