Venezuelan Archbishop Laments the Government's Tighter Grip

CARACAS, Venezuela, JUNE 13, 2003 ( The head of the Catholic bishops’ conference expressed his concern over Parliament’s loss of authority, and lamented that the law is being applied only at the whim of the government.

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In a statement published Wednesday, Archbishop Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, president of the episcopal conference, said: «This is a mortal blow to the legislative power, in which any kind of opinion that is not in line with that of the government, must simply be eliminated.»

«It is a blow that destroys the real meaning of the independence of powers,» he said.

According to the archbishop, the political situation in Venezuela does not guarantee full respect of democracy and undermines the existence of institutions, Vatican Radio reported.

The archbishop’s concern is directed particularly at a new law that regulates the media.

The «law of social responsibility in radio and television» has been severely criticized by the political opposition and the publishing world as a governmental attempt at censoring all voices that disagree with the official line.

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