A New God Rises in Venezuela, Socialist Party Encourages Prayers to Hugo Chavez

Hugo Chavez, dead since March 2013, is now being called upon by some in Venezuela’s Socialist Party as, 

Our Chavez, who art in heaven,

<img src="filename.gif" alt="Hugo Chavez - New God of Venezuela?">

In a perversion of The Lord’s Prayer, called  ‘The Delegate’s Prayer’ a representative of Venezuela’s Socialist Party, María Estrella Uribe, paid homage to the late leader, Hugo Chavez, but in doing so committed blasphemy by replacing God with Hugo Chavez. 

Delivered on Monday, 1 Sept. 2014, at a government ‘ideology workshop’ in Caracas, this recent strategy to promote the cult of Chavez was a desperate attempt to keep any positive memories of his legacy alive, because at the time of his death, economic woes and corruption were already destroying the Party’s popularity, even among the poor. Furthermore, speculation arose that Chavez’s hand picked successor, Nicolas Maduro would be unable to fill the shoes of his predecessor, but he got his chance anyway. 

The election triggered by his death was the closest since Chavez took office in 1999 and, for a moment, it looked like the opposition’s time had finally come. But, united in grief, the chavistas rallied, cries of “We are all Chavez” rang through the streets of Caracas and, in the end, Maduro beat his rival, Henrique Capriles Radonski, by a razor thin majority of 1.5 percent. Hannah Strange, 4 Sept. 2014, Vice News

With Maduro in power since the death of Hugo Chavez in 2013, the economy of Venezuela has only gotten worse and is now experiencing severe distress, not seen since 2003. As a result, one maverick cabinet member Rafael Ramírez, chairman of the state oil corporation and vice-president for the economy, dared to think outside the socialist box and argued for a unified exchange rate which would have reduced the money supply and raised the domestic price of petrol. That Maduro would even consider such an idea gave hope to many. Yet, after months of wavering, President Nicolás Maduro finally announced a major initiative to restructure his government and any hopes that had been raised that the door to Capitalism would finally be cracked open again, were closed and padlocked. Instead, on September Maduro ruled out any “capitalist” solution and declared his economic policy “successful,” then he transfered Ramirez to the foreign ministry and splitting his super-portfolio into three separate jobs, none of them in the hands of a political heavyweight. None of that evil Capitalism while Nicholas Maduro has anything to say about it, but oh the temptation was so great! So what is behind it?

In an article published in The Economist on 3 Sept. 2014, some insight is provided.

Venezuela is in trouble. Such trouble, in fact, that the central bank (BCV) has not published GDP figures since the beginning of the year and is two months behind with inflation figures. Leaks from inside the BCV suggest annual inflation is now well over 60% and that GDP fell by almost 5% in the first half of 2014. Shortages of food, medicines and other basic goods, including spare parts and tyres for vehicles, have reached critical levels. Representatives of private health clinics say more than half have suspended elective surgery for lack of crucial supplies and parts for medical equipment. The government plans to address shortages by fingerprinting customers to prevent them from buying extra goods to sell on the black market. 

The article further points out that because the country is,

Dependent on oil revenues for 97 out of every hundred dollars in foreign earnings, and on imports for a large part of what it consumes, the country is heavily in debt to foreign suppliers, many of whom have cut off credit. But instead of adopting an adjustment plan, the government has continued to print money and introduce ever more stringent price and exchange controls. Massive price differentials with nneighboring Colombia have fuelled the contraband trade, to which the authorities have responded by closing the border at night. 

Though President Maduro has at times signaled a willingness to remain open minded about corrective measures he would be willing to consider to rescue Venezuela’s economy from the abyss. His leadership skills have yet to achieve consensus among the different factions within the government, because many are ideologically opposed to what they see as “neoliberal” measures. Others are only concerned about their political survival in the next elections. 

The article declares the big winners from Maduro’s reshuffle as the hard left and the military.

Mr Ramírez’s job as economy and finance supremo has been taken by a general. The new energy minister is Asdrúbal Chávez, cousin of the late Hugo Chávez, Mr Maduro’s predecessor and the founder of chavismo. Another man who may have reason to be satisfied is Diosdado Cabello, chairman of parliament and vice-president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). A retired military officer, with significant influence in the armed forces, Mr Cabello was one of the three most powerful figures in the regime at the beginning of the week. With Mr Ramírez sidelined, that number is down to two. P.G. 3 Sept. 2014, The Economist

From this valuable information we can certainly see why the workshop for “the design of the system of Socialist formation,” felt it necessary to pray to Hugo Chavez. Moreover, President Maduro insisted that the revolution was entering a phase which demands ever more formation of its values. 

When we ask ourselves what values we must form, and when we ask ourselves where we should form those values, there is just one answer: we must form in ourselves the values of Chavez in the daily struggle in the street, creating, constructing revolution, making revolution. Nicholas Maduro, President of Venezuela

Although public schools and universities have been thorough in their  efforts to indoctrinate the youth of Venezuela, it appears that Maduro has certainly stepped up his focus on forcing Socialist ideology, 

That so many of the poor are religious people and devoted to the Catholic Church, the idea of exalting Chavez as a kind of secular ‘Saint’ has allowed the Socialist Party some success, but it does get weird and downright creepy when the nation’s president, Nicholas Maduro claims to regularly converse with the departed revolutionary and often sleeps in his mausoleum. That Maduro has effectively painted himself,

as Chavez’s representative on earth

is disturbing.  He also claims to frequently see the late leader on the Avila mountain that overlooks Caracas is alarming. Maduro publicly admits that,

Chavez has appeared to him in the form of a little bird, on several occasions emitting a tweeting sound to refer to the leftist during public addresses. In October 2013, Maduro proclaimed that “Chavez is everywhere” as he reported that the former president’s face had appeared to construction workers in a Caracas subway. Hannah Strange, 4 Sept. 2014, Vice News

Regardless of the bizarre revelations, his critics accuse President Nicolas Maduro of piggy-backing off his predecessor’s popularity to distract supporters from shortages of basic goods, an annual inflation of around 60 percent, and sky-high crime rates.

Hailed during his life time by many, but not all, as the ‘savior of Venezuela’s poor and oppressed’ the cult of Chavez has exploded in mythical proportions. Yet, to think of him akin to God is another matter entirely and you bet the Roman Catholic Church of Venezuela is not staying silent about the matter.  

Whoever says this new and inappropriate version of the Our Father adhering to the literal text is committing the sin of idolatry, by attributing to a human person qualities and actions that are proper to God.

Cardinal Urosa also added 

Just as no one would be allowed to change the words of the national anthem in order to honor somebody, neither is it licit to change the Our Father or any other Christian prayer, such as the Creed. The Catholic religious symbols, prayers, and elements must be respected, Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa.

However, President Nicolas Maduro was ready for the Church’s outrage and counters that it is trying to undermine the late leader even after his death. This charge is in reference to numerous arguments that erupted between the Church’s hierarchy and Chavez, as well as an attempted coup d’état which took place in 2002, which the Roman Catholic Church supported, it lasted two days.

They couldn’t get rid of Chavez while he was alive so now they want to persecute the people’s spiritual love for him. 

In defense of  Maria Uribe he claims that,

a new inquisition has emerged to massacre this humble woman. Nicholas Maduro, 5 Sept. 2014, RT News

The Full Version of the Chavez Prayer

Our Chavez, who art in Heaven, on Earth, in the sea and in us, the representatives, hallowed by thy name.

Thy legacy come, so we can bring it to towns here and there,

Give us this day your light so it guides us every day,

Lead us not into the temptation of Capitalism,

and deliver us from the evil of the Oligarchy,

(Of course they are blind to the system of Oligarchy that runs through a socialist structured government)

Like the felony of contraband, because the Mother Land is ours and so is peace and life,

Forever and ever, Amen

Long Live Chavez.

Some dictators just never die!

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