The Catholic Archbishop of Coro, Archbishop Roberto Lückert, affirms that the arrest of the mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma, "is adding fuel to the fire" to the continuing conflict between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition forces. On Feb 19 about 100 Venezuelan police officers entered the offices of the mayor and took him away. Some journalists report that the mayor was maltreated during his arrest. President Maduro accused the mayor of being a "golpista," that is, a member of a presumed U.S.-led conspiracy against the "Chavist" government of Venezuela.
The arrest was carried out by members of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service. Mayor Ledezma, with Leopoldo López and former MP Maria Corina Machado, had signed a statement, published by the El Nacional daily, demanding a national agreement for a transition government in order to tackle the serious economic crisis which has struck the country.
In a report sent to Vatican news service Fides, Archbishop Lückert affirms: "Our late President was not mistaken when he promised to take us into Cuba’s ocean of happiness, and this is the proof. They are trampling every rule of law."
The Venezuelan people “are offended and exasperated,” he continued: “this is adding fuel to the fire." For the Archbishop of Coro this arrest is an example of dictatorship, clear proof, in his opinion, of the “absence of democracy."