March 05, 2019
The Conference of Jesuit Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL), the body that coordinates the common works of the Jesuits on the continent, speaks out about the political and social crisis facing Venezuela, and the implications, challenges and commitments for its Mission. This reflection and proposals are being presented in the framework of the International Seminar on the Search for Political Alternatives to the Venezuelan Crisis, which is taking place in Lima between March 4th and 7th, 2019.
From March 4th-7th, the “International Seminar on the Search for Political Alternatives to the Venezuelan Crisis” is taking place in Lima, Peru. The event brings together fifty specialists from Venezuela and other countries in Latin America and the USA to reflect on the current situation that the country is facing, its social and political implications both within Venezuela and internationally, and the actions that are necessary to foresee in the face of the complexity of possible scenarios.
The Seminar is promoted by the Conference of Jesuit Provincials of Latin America and the Caribbean (CPAL), the Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University of Lima (UARM), the Andrés Bello Catholic University of Caracas (UCAB) and the Association of Universities of the Society of Jesus in Latin America (AUSJAL).
According to Fr. Roberto Jaramillo, President of the CPAL, this initiative was conceived in April 2018 as part of other measures taken to help the Jesuits in their mission in the country, and to reinforce solidarity and action in favor of the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants spread throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. “We are all witnesses to the exodus of people in need of international protection. The crisis has worsened in the last two months, and now more than ever we need to be clear about the possible scenarios and the answers we should have prepared.”
For Father Jaramillo, “ideological prejudices, on the one hand, and misinformation about the real situation, on the other, prevent us from getting a full idea of the seriousness of the internal crisis, and the generation of corresponding solidarity.” In this context, it is of vital importance to have more clarity on the situation and prospects of the evolution of this serious crisis, in order to define actions that favor a political solution, help to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people and promote international hospitality; all of this within the framework of respect for human rights and the principle of self-determination of peoples.
Fifty-two people, including 20 Jesuits, are invited to the seminar. There will be participation of scholars and social actors from Chile, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, the United States, Italy and, of course, from Venezuela.
The conclusions of the seminar will be widely disseminated. On March 7th, a press conference is scheduled in which some of the Jesuit authorities who have convened the meeting – the president of the CPAL, the Provincial of Venezuela and the Rector of the Andrés Bello University of Caracas, accompanied by other Jesuit priests – will communicate their vision on the current situation in Venezuela and the possible scenarios, and the implications for the Mission of the Society of Jesus at this moment in its history. Cardinal Mons. Baltazar Porras, the Venezuelan theologian and historian P. Luis Ugalde, the rector of the UCAB Fr. José Virtuoso, the provincial of the Jesuits in Venezuela Fr. Rafael Garrido, will also participate in in this event along with and all the Jesuits present during the International Seminar throughout the previous days.