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A Cardinal against Maduro

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It is no great secret that one of the few institutions that has stood firm against the socialist Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela is the Catholic Church. Most other institutions have dissolved, broken or thoroughly compromised. The bishops of the Church in Venezuela, however, has been unsparing in their critique of the regime and how it has destroyed the economy and undermined any semblance of constitutional order.

This week, however, the Archbishop emeritus of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa upped the stakes in an interview he gave to one of the few relatively free newspapers left in the country, El Nacional. Amongst other things, Cardinal Urosa said that the socialist regime is essentially living out an illusion and that the people of Venezuela are paying a very high price.

Much of that price is economic, the cardinal stressed. “We’re going to end up very badly,” he said, “because the dollar continues to rise, food is more and more expensive, there are no products, healthcare is worse and education has completely collapsed.” That’s where socialism leads you. More generally, however, Cardinal Urosa insisted that the regime is living on lies about itself and promoting lies about the true state of affairs in Venezuela. There is also, he argued, a fundamental illegitimacy about the Maduro regime in terms of the government’s naked use of force to retain power.

The sad irony about all this is that this November marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the great symbol of the lie that was Communism: the Berlin Wall. Three decades after that event, however, another country is having to experience all the follies of a regime that draws inspiration from an ideology that, as experience and history shows, has delivered nothing but economic misery and the destruction of liberty in the name of class-struggle, systematic envy, and untruths about human nature and the essence of justice.

The Church in Venezuela’s strong stance against Maduro is not, of course, without its costs. That includes threats to the safety and lives of its bishops. Marxists have no scruples about using violence – after all, as good philosophical materialists, they have no in-principle objection to doing whatever they believe necessary to usher in their fantasy world. Morality for them is just a bourgeois illusion. Let’s hope and pray that none of Venezuela’s bishops end up paying the ultimate price for their defense of freedom.

Photo: public domain

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Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He has an MA in political philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford.

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