Lutheran World Federation, deeply troubled at Venezuela situation, calls for inclusive society

(Photo: REUTERS / Carlos Eduardo Ramirez)Opposition supporters hold a national a flag during a rally against Nicolas Maduro's government in San Cristobal March 22, 2014. Two Venezuelans died from gunshot wounds during protests against Maduro, witnesses and local media said on Saturday, pushing the death toll from almost two months of anti-government protests to 33.

The Lutheran World Federation say it is deeply concerned about the grave situation in Venezuela and has called for the building of a society where everybody is included.

The LWF, which represents 74-million Lutherans worldwide, adopted a public statement at its May 10-16 Twelfth Assembly, in Windhoek, Namibia.

The assembly said it is "deeply concerned and moved by news that has been conveyed to us about the grave situation in Venezuela."

The grave situation in the oil-rich nation was described by The New York Times which wrote May 30 that "Venezuela needs international Intervention – now."

Advertisement

The Times reported that the huge protests afflicting Venezuela that started in early April, were sparked by a decision of its Supreme Court to assume the powers of Venezuela's National Assembly in violation of the country's Constitution.

"In response, President Nicolás Maduro has responded with an iron fist. More than 50 people have been killed, 1,000 injured, and 2,700 arrested, and that last figure doesn't include the country's more than 180 long-term political prisoners.

'AUTHORITARIAN RULE'

"The Organization of American States is considering action against Venezuela under its Democratic Charter for Mr. Maduro's brazen transition to authoritarian rule," said the Times.

It also noted that the international community also has a responsibility to protect the people of Venezuela and to respond urgently to its economic and humanitarian

crisis while observing the severity of the suffering of the 31 million people facing widespread shortages of basic supplies, including food.

The LWF statement said the Lutheran assembly requests "the government to facilitate the receipt of contributions from abroad, especially medicines and food."

The assembly is the highest decision-making body of the LWF and meets every six or seven years.

It said it "affirms that conflict resolution mechanisms will require all parties to fundamentally rethink the view they have of themselves and the other, in order to transform the currently polarized debate into one about the people's common interests and objectives."

The Lutherans called on Venezuelan society to take seriously the consequences of its actions in the context of "a growing aggression in global politics."

It affirmed that the government of the South American nation cannot use growing aggression as a justification for denying unrestricted guarantees of the human rights of all people.

The LWF also affirmed the implementation of socio-political conflict resolution mechanisms, which are available within the framework of democracy.

It noted that conflict resolution mechanisms will require all parties to fundamentally rethink the view they have of themselves and the other, in order to transform the currently polarized debate into one about the people's common interests and objectives.

Copyright © 2017 Ecumenical News