Venezuela’s Catholic Church on Friday blasted President Nicolás Maduro for trying to impose a “dictatorship” by pushing forward an unpopular plan to overhaul the constitution.
Speaking at a public event, Archbishop Diego Padron, the president of Venezuela’s Episcopal Conference, said the government’s decision to elect more than 500 delegates on July 30 to rewrite the constitution is illegitimate.
“The Episcopal Conference has deemed that the national assembly of constituents is unnecessary and inconvenient,” Padron said. The assembly is “being imposed by force and the result will be the [formalization] of a military, socialist, Marxist and communist dictatorship.”
Padron said that, by law, the government couldn’t call for the constitutional assembly without first holding a national referendum — a vote that polls show the government would lose.
The Catholic Church and the socialist administration have been at odds for years, but this is some of the harshest rhetoric yet to come from the …