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Venezuela government seeks 'totalitarian' regime

The Roman Catholic Church in Venezuela on Wednesday accused the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro of seeking to impose a "totalitarian government," blaming it for the protests shaking the country. Monsignor Diego Padron, the president of the conference of bishops, denounced the abuse of force, torture of detained protesters, and the persecution of opposition mayors and lawmakers. "The government is mistaken in wanting to resolve the crisis by force. Repression is not the way to go," he said.

Church calls for halt to political persecution in Venezuela

The leader of Venezuela's Roman Catholic Church called Tuesday for an immediate halt to the persecution of government employees suspected of sympathizing with the opposition. Cardinal Jorge Urosa's appeal in a radio interview came amid opposition charges that government workers were being harassed and threatened with dismissal if they were found to have voted against President Nicolas Maduro.

Vatican calls for dialogue in crisis-hit Venezuela

The Catholic Church weighed in Sunday on Venezuela's political crisis, with Pope Francis expressing deep concern and calling for dialogue in the wake of a disputed presidential election. The head of the Venezuela church meanwhile offered to help arrange talks between President Nicolas Maduro, the political heir of the late leftist leader Hugo Chavez, and opposition leader Henrique Capriles. "It's necessary to resolve this crisis. The tone has to be lowered," Cardinal Jorge Urosa said in an interview with Ultimas Noticias, a daily newspaper.
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