Unidentified persons attacked the headquarters of the Venezuelan bishops' conference on Friday, stealing several items. The bishops' conference reported in two tweets Aug. 25 that “the headquarters of the Venezuelan Bishops' Conference were the victim of the mob this morning.
Though details of what happened have not been given, the pictures show the damage was not insignificant, and that various items were stolen from the offices of the Venezuelan bishops in Caracas.
This is not the first time a place belonging to the Church in Venezuela has suffered such an attack. In fact the pressure and aggression have also come down on important church leaders such as Cardinal Jorge Urosa of Caracas who in April this year had to confront a Chavista mob which wanted to attack him after he had said a Mass.
The aggression is also of a religious nature. In March this year, unknown persons entered a church to steal the Consecrated Hosts. The thieves took nothing else. On Jan. 1, a group of criminals entered the headquarters of the Bishop of Maracay, and stole various equipment and cash kept in the administration's safe. Three days before, heavily armed unknown persons entered a Trappist monastery and stole everything they came across. In July 2016, another group of thieves sacked an educational facility affiliated with the diocese and stole a large amount of equipment and other items and then went on to destroy everything in the place.
Frustration in Venezuela has been building for years due to poor economic policies, including strict price controls coupled with high inflation rates, which have resulted in a severe lack of basic necessities such as toilet paper, milk, flour, diapers, and medicines. Venezuela's socialist government is widely blamed for the crisis. Since 2003, price controls on some 160 products, including cooking oil, soap and flour, have meant that while they are affordable, they fly off store shelves only to be resold on the black market at much higher rates.
The country held elections one month ago for a constituent assembly charged with rewriting the constitution, at the behest of the President Nicolas Maduro. The bishops of the country, supported by the Vatican, have spoken out against potential fraud in the elections and to demand an immediate, peaceful, and democratic solution to the problem.