Sacrilegious attacks against statues of Our Lady by the followers of President Chávez make patent the link between the radical left and a Satanic hatred.
The acts mentioned in this article are so shocking that if they were not so well documented, one would doubt their authenticity.
Normally acts of this nature are done by small groups in secret. Rarely do the perpetrators allow themselves to be filmed and, above all in Venezuela where they are still punished by law.
How is it possible, then, that in one of the main squares of Caracas, the very capital of Venezuela, hundreds of vandals carried out a veritable demonic festival, while allowing themselves to be photographed and filmed?
One well-known journalist commented: “Normally, profaners act under cover of darkness, ashamed of what they are doing. These acts were done in a public square, in the light of day, with witnesses. The obscene demonstrators proudly posed for the cameras.” 1
What occurred is so monstrous that all who read this must vehemently repudiate these abhorrent acts.
The Followers of Hugo Chávez
On Saturday, December 6, 2003, President Hugo Chávez’s supporters held a march in Caracas to commemorate the five year anniversary of the administration. Among them were the motorized brigades of armed men, known in Venezuela as the motorizados de muerte (motorized death brigades). They are all members of the Círculos Bolivarianos (Bolivarian Circles), a national version of the Cuban Committees in Defense of the Revolution. Such groups are often accused of intimidating political opposition by force.
Arriving close to Altamira Square, a bastion of President Chávez’s opposition, some 250 of these armed men advanced and gained control of the square. A little afterwards, the rest of the demonstrators arrived who were then supposed to continue en route to another section of the capital.
It should be explained that Altamira Square became famous during the general strike against President Chávez. People who disagreed with the communist policies of the president met in the square. The protests have had a marked religious note. Perhaps to bolster his image, President Chavez often appears in public with crucifixes and bibles and even quoting passages of Our Lord. Such tactics, it should be remembered, were also used by Fidel Castro who appeared in public flaunting religious medals and rosaries before he took power.
To oppose the president’s deceptive use of religious symbols, and to galvanize Venezuelans who truly believe in God, opponents began placing statues of Our Lady in public places for veneration. They organized processions with statues and prayed the rosary together in several neighborhoods in Caracas.
Concretely, they had placed several statues of the Holy Virgin in Altamira Square. Most of the statues were those under the invocation of Our Lady of Graces. However, there were also statues of Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Coromoto, Mystical Rose and Cuba’s patroness, Our Lady of Charity of Cobre.
Having taken control of the square, the pro-Chávez demonstrators began to desecrate the statues. Amidst shouts, dances and laughs, they sprayed most of the statues with red graffiti and “feigned immoral acts with and even went so far as to relieve themselves upon one of the statues.” 2
One statue was “thrown on the ground, while protesters relieve themselves and spit upon it.” 3 Even worse sacrilegious abominations were carried out as well, but the spirit of veneration and respect prevents a full description of them here.
One statue of the Mystical Rose “was cast on the ground and, in a ritual amidst dancing, macabre laughter and violence, one protester decapitated the Virgin with one blow from a stick.” 4 “The tension in the square continued for half an hour.” 5 When all was said and done, the vandals stole “one statue of the Virgin of Coromoto, one of the Charity of Cobre, a Child Jesus and a painted replica of the Mystical Rose.” 6
The protesters did not even try to hide their ideological sympathies. “Graffiti saying Viva Chávez was painted on the ground and walls of the square and all along the Francisco de Miranda Avenue.” 7
The Government and Media: Stifling the News
These acts were condemned in a communiqué by the nation’s Catholic Bishop’s Conference, 8 which also contained a prayer to be said in reparation for the desecrations.
Incredibly, the Chávez Administration did not deny the desecrations took place, but even tried to justify them in the most cynical way possible. Thus, Vice-President José Vicente Rangel affirmed: “What happened in Altamira Square…was neither a provocation nor an act of disrespect toward religion.” 9
Since what happened at the Altamira Square was condemned, everyone in Venezuela knew and commented on what happened. However, what was presented on television was lamentably almost as distorted and appeasing as the description of Vice-President Rangel.
According to the one observer, the cynical vision presented by CNN was as if “the protesters symbolically took the square for an hour and damaged some Christmas decorations.” 10
The fact that the leftist media would hide that which is problematic for them is really nothing new….
Faithful Make Reparation
Anti-religious plundering continues. On December 9, 2003, a bomb was detonated in front of a church in Los Teques, destroying several statues inside. On December 11, three statues of Our Lady were destroyed in the city of Cardón where two more statues of the Virgin were demolished on the next day. On December 15, anti-Catholic agitators attacked the bombed Church in Los Teques once again.
These facts and others like it lead one to ask: Does Venezuela face an explosion of anti-Catholic violence like those which took place in Communist Russia or later during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939?
In face of such sacrilegious outrages against the greatest and most holy of mothers – The Mother of God – Catholics should manifest their indignation and make reparation. They also need to ask: What is the future of religion in Venezuela when the God and His mother are so mistreated? What can be expected from the Chavez government in light of such hateful and intolerant attacks?
- Maruja Tarre, “Lo de Altamira,” El Universal, Caracas, 12/12/03.
- Migdalis Cañizales, “El que se mete com santos es porque no tiene corazón,” El Universal, 12/8/03.
- Eleonora Bruzal, “Satanás se complace,” Miami Herald, 12/13/03.
- “Officialistas causan destrozos en Altamira,” Globovisión, 12/6/03.
- Migdalis Cañizales, “El que se mete com santos es porque no tiene corazón,” Op. cit.
- Zenit, 12/9/04.
- “Rangel responde,” El Universal, 12/9/03.
- Maruja Tarre, Op. cit.