New Attack on Apostolic Nunciature in Venezuela

Head Synagogue Also Vandalized

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CARACAS, Venezuela, FEB. 5, 2009 ( Three teargas bombs were thrown at the apostolic nunciature in Caracas, in the seventh attack against this diplomatic see, and the second in less than 15 days.

According to a communiqué from the nunciature, on Wednesday several unidentified men on motorcycles threw «three devices, of which two fell and exploded in the exterior area of the property, and the third fell and exploded in the interior patio of the diplomatic see.»

The nunciature described the act as one of vandalism and irresponsibility, and authorities were called on to «take the needed measures so as to guarantee the security and safety of the diplomatic mission and its personnel, as is established by the Vienna Convention.»

Several attacks by pro-government groups have taken place since a student leader Nixon Moreno, who opposes President Hugo Chávez, was given asylum at the nunciature. The most recent attack, with five teargas bombs, happened last Jan. 19.

Wednesday’s incident comes just a few days after the Venezuelan bishops’ conference released a statement denouncing an attack against the principal synagogue of Caracas.

On Jan. 31, 15 unidentified people broke into the synagogue, destroyed objects for worship, and left anti-Israel graffiti.

The statement of the bishops, published Wednesday, expressed their «consternation and sorrow at the violation of the sacred space and the profanation of the religious symbols most dear to the Jewish religion.»

It asserted that this event «is far from the spirit of tolerance and welcome that is traditional for the Venezuelan people.»

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