Hispanic celebrities criticize the pope in Venezuela


Some of the biggest names in the music industry in Latin America have criticized the Vatican this week for its lukewarm stance on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, urging Pope Francis, himself a South American, to support the majority of the world. country against the violent socialist regime of dictator Nicolás Maduro.

Pope Francis has repeatedly issued statements expressing his concern for Venezuelans in general. In January, during a visit to Panama, a spokesman for the Vatican issued a statement on the inauguration of interim president Juan Guaidó, without indicating whether the Vatican, a sovereign state, would recognize Guaidó's legitimacy or continue to to carry out a diplomacy by the dictator Maduro.
"The Holy Father, who has learned the news of Venezuela in Panama, is following the situation closely and praying for the victims and all Venezuelans," the statement said.
Sending to reporters on a flight to Abu Dhabi this month, Pope Francis said he feared a "bloodbath" and[es] good for all the inhabitants of the country ", but declined to say whether, as the head of state of a sovereign country, he recognized Guaidó's position as interim president:" it would be a pastoral imprudence and would cause harm to be on the side of one country or another. "
Maduro sent a letter to Pope Francis asking that the Vatican mediate talks between the opposition and the socialist regime. The Pope said that he would only accept a mediation role if the opposition so asked.
Pope Francis' refusal to condemn the Socialist government for its gross violations of human rights – including the denial of access to humanitarian aid to Venezuelan sick and hungry, the imprisonment of Political dissidents as well as the torture and killing of protesters – has provoked a wave of criticism from some of Latin America's most prominent musical talents. The Latin American music industry has largely united to send a message of solidarity to the Venezuelan people against socialism and against Maduro in particular, marking a shift to the right that is not imitated in the entertainment industry of Venezuela. English language.
On Monday, Ricardo Arjona – a Grammy Award-winning artist with 80 million sold albums – has posted a comment on social media accusing the Vatican of leading Catholics to "limbo" by not taking a position of principle on the situation in Venezuela.
"According to Catholic theology, limbo is the world between the living and the dead … it's an intermediate place extremely similar to nothingness and a VERY close relative of NEUTRALITY," he writes.
"One can understand (even if it smells bad) the limbo of some countries in relation to Venezuela because of circumstances that could have resulted from previous agreements, transactions or symbolic cameraderie", he said. he continued. "We can be neutral on behalf of a country. But can one be neutral in the name of God?
"So much of the basis of his [the Catholic Church’s] the doctrine has to do with Poncius Pilate as an indisputable symbol of betrayal and cowardice while washing his hands. Is not this the same thing before the Venezuelan chaos imminent? He asked.

Arjona's comments follow the publication Sunday of an incendiary interview in one of the largest newspapers in Argentina, Clarínwith Ricardo Montaner, perhaps the most popular singer-songwriter in Venezuela (Montaner was born in Argentina but grew up in Venezuela and considers himself mainly Venezuelan). Montaner, currently on tour in Argentina, told the newspaper that he was "pained" by Pope Francis' refusal to take a categorical stand on the subject.
"I believe, and I say it with the utmost respect, that as a representative of the world Catholic community, he is obliged to be on the side of those who suffer and those who suffer are those who scream and scream. , especially today. , for God to listen to them, "said Montaner. "It hurts me because he [Pope Francis] seems to be a good guy and I like him, and the least I would like is to think he would identify with the pain of people bleeding on the street. "
Montaner also took the opportunity to criticize English-speaking celebrities like Roger Waters who expressed their support for the Maduro diet: "Why would you want to act as a cool guy supporting something that makes no sense? [the Maduro regime] is to support the genocide and support the rejection of human rights. "
In a separate interview with Argentinean Infobae, Montaner said of the Vatican: "I do not think you can be neutral under certain circumstances. God is the first to be neutral and if someone knows anything about justice, it is Jesus. "
"It does not tell us to be" lukewarm "or" neutral, "but" you have to follow that path. "It's too comfortable to be neutral in these circumstances," he said.
Another Latin American artist, the legendary Venezuelan crooner José Luis Rodríguez "El Puma" also commented on the Vatican this week: "Bergoglio [Pope Francis] remains indifferent, while keeping this coldness that defines it towards countries that want to free themselves from tyrannies. "
Rodríguez went further than other critics, speculating: "There is something weird out there. One day, they will examine the Vatican National Bank and we will be very surprised. "
The wave of this week's criticism of the Vatican followed the release of a video by various Latin American celebrities, including Montaner and several young stars such as Reggaeton stars J Balvin and Luis Fonsi ( of the fame of "Despacito") and the Colombian artist Juanes – published in support of the movement against Maduro in Venezuela. The video preceded a major demonstration in Venezuela last weekend asking Maduro to leave the presidential palace after interim President Juan Guaidó took an oath to replace him, in accordance with the Venezuelan constitution.
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