HAVANA TIMES – Word has it Jair Bolsonaro managed to become Brazil’s president in 2018 thanks to the huge support he received from Evangelical churches.
Maduro, who has always been on the other end of the political spectrum to Jair, has publicly announced himself as the benefactor of Evangelical churches and pastors.
First of all, let me make it clear that Venezuela is a secular state, according to its Constitution.
Then, let’s remember the country’s serious infllation crisis, which engulfs the poor incomes of workers and pensioners every day, as well as their health. Now, that I’ve mentioned health, I’ll also remind you that public health practically doesn’t exist here, given the little a hospital can do; except for a quick check from a professional, there aren’t any medical exams or medicines you don’t have to pay for; prices of medicines are in dollars, like everything else, while wages are paid in Bolivars, Venezuela’s national currency.
I’ll also fill you in on the education situation. It is a sector which is sunken in crisis, like anything that is useful for society. A few days ago, teachers and university professors from all over the country made a brave move and mobilized when they took to the streets in every city to demand fair wages, without blackmail and threats from the Government and paramilitary groups stopping them.
A few hours ago, I nearly choked to death because a neighbor started burning waste in his home, things got out of hand, and he burned a bit more than he should have. Why? Well, because garbage collection, like every other public service, is chaos.
Not to go on and make a long list of misfortunes that are so useful for the Government to keep us all busy on just taking our next breath, let me tell you about the funding that goes to Christian Churches.
When Chavez was in power (1999-2013), the Government created a program called “Mi Casa Bien Equipada” (My well-equipped House), which had the mission of providing the population with very affordable electrical appliances. Hundreds of thousands of people benefitted from this program, including many Cubans with higher positions on “missions”. But this program hasn’t existed for many years now, as you’d expect.
Nevertheless, Maduro has had the great idea of rolling out his own version of Mi Casa Bien Equipada, but this time it’s the Mi Iglesia Bien Equipada (My well-equipped Church).
Let me clarify, these aren’t any churches, only Evangelical ones and I’d even dare to say only Pentecostal ones to be exact.
According to the Venezuelan president, the mission of this program is “for parishioners to have dignified spaces where they can develop their faith in the presence of God, helping them contribute to the great Mission of a Beautiful Venezuela with wide-ranging, swift, and profound progress.
Socialism’s “new man” has been left behind, Now Maduro says: “We have to be men and women of faith, thought, words, prayer and action, new, holistic men and women and bridge gaps so we can defend the right to peace, life and happiness in Venezuela, together.”
But because he can’t create “new” men and women from nothing, Maduro demanded that radio and TV stations give priority access to the Evangelical Churches in their broadcasts.
Teachers who protested a few days ago were accused of being traitors because they were asking for a decent wage instead of the end of the blockade. There isn’t any money to raise wages, that’s the President’s final word.
A final note. A few days ago, during a sermon for the celebration of the patron saint of Barquisimeto, Catholic Bishop Victor Hugo Basabe asked the Divine Pastor to free Venezuela of the “pest” of political corruption that has led the country “to moral, economic and social ruin.”
Nicolas Maduro thought that the bishop was talking about him, by some strange and unconcious association. To everyone’s surprise, he accused the bishop of “hate speech” before the Public Prosecutor, the Ombudsman, the Comptroller General and the Supreme Court.
I guess that this money that doesn’t exist to help restore the education and health systems, because it has been swallowed and continues to be swallowed by corruption, is now the money going to make Evangelical churches pretty, so that Venezuelans can feel more comfortable when crying about their sorrows and adoring the president that (God) “has placed to govern our land.”
“Long live the people of Christ!”