EspañolSouth-African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu has called on the Venezuelan government to release its political prisoners, and condemned widespread human-rights violations in the country, in an opinion piece published in Spanish daily El País on Thursday.
“The human-rights situation in Venezuela is particularly somber. Even more concerning that the economic and security situation is how the government responds to its people’s frustrations,” wrote Tutu, a key leader in the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s and 1990s.
“I believe in the church, in mercy and compassion. It’s not too late for [President Nicolás] Maduro to change his course of action. In 2016, the catholic church will celebrate the Holy Year of Mercy, which, according to the Vatican, ‘serves as an invitation to follow the example of the Father, who asks us not to judge or condemn, but to forgive and give love with no limits,'” he continued.
“With support from Pope Francis, I pray for Nicolás Maduro to honor this invitation and release the political prisoners in Venezuela,” Tutu concluded.
The former archbishop of Cape Town meanwhile complained about the lack of global solidarity with the South American nation, calling on global leaders to “move past the rhetoric and take concrete measures.” He also warned the international community “not to wait for another massacre to take bold actions.”
“The deafening silence and inaction … has given Maduro a license to act with impunity,” he said.
Tutu further compared the jailed opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos with icons such as Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr., saying they too are “paying a very high price in their relentless pursuit of justice.”
Source: El Nacional.