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Venezuelan Government and Jewish Community Desire Dialogue and Collaboration

The Jewish Association of Venezuela expressed its appreciation to the Chávez government and its organs of security for their investigations of the attack against the Tiferet Synagogue.  Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro expressed the government’s desire to cooperate with the Jewish community and made it clear that the national government maintains “absolute respect for religious freedom.”

Elías Farache, President of the Jewish Association of Venezuela (Asociación Israelita de Venezuela, AIV) expressed, at a press conference on Thursday, his gratitude to the government for its investigations of the case of robbery and desecration of the Tiferet Israel Synagogue, located in Maripérez, Caracas, on the 30th of January.  “We thank the President of the Republic, Hugo Chávez, Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro, Minister Jesse Chacón, the director of the CICPC [Corps of Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigations] and all the members of his wonderful team of professionals, and the Office of the Attorney General for their interest in the case and their diligent investigation to apprehend the perpetrators of the crimes,” Farache said on behalf of the Jewish community in Venezuela.

The following is the statement that Farache read at the press conference:

“The Jewish community in Venezuela, especially the congregation of the Jewish Association of Venezuela and of Maripérez, express our satisfaction with the investigative work of the Corps of Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigations (CICPC) on the case of robbery and desecration of the Tiferet Synagogue, a place of worship which was, whatever the motive of the perpetrators, desecrated by messages of hate.

We thank the President of the Republic, Hugo Chávez, Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro, Minister Jesse Chacón, the director of the CICPC and all the members of his wonderful team of professionals, and the Office of the Attorney General for their interest in the case and their diligent investigation to apprehend the perpetrators of the crimes.  We hope that the judicial process will shed new light on the motives and identities of the perpetrators.

The National Government has demonstrated its commitment to fight to eradicate the feelings alien to the Venezuelan people and bring back peace and tranquility to our community, and we are convinced that only through the honest dialogue that has begun will we be able to do so.

The Jewish community of Venezuela is deeply grateful for and moved by the expressions of solidarity and warm regards that we have received from all sectors of the Venezuelan society.”

Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro, for his part, again complimented the Chávez government for its actions on the case of the synagogue.  “The work that has been done has been marked by the pursuit of truth,” he said, adding that the government’s attitude “has been sincere and transparent.”

Furthermore, Maduro confirmed, on behalf of President Chávez, “a message of friendship and desire for true cooperation in the investigation.”  He clarified that “the legal course of this investigation will continue” and reiterated that it “will get to the bottom of the truth.”

Venezuela Respects Religious Freedom and Equality

The foreign minister said that in Venezuela there is “full religious freedom and equality.”  In this regard, he warned that “those who want to manipulate and exploit this angle will be confronted by the truth” based on “our identity and profound vision of the world and the breadth of diverse religious faiths that make up the life of this nation.”

In response to the statements made by some sectors of the anti-government opposition that blame the government for the attack on the synagogue, Maduro said that the public opinion will put the attitude of the opposition on trial since the opposition “tried to morally tarnish Venezuela’s name and history” by accusing the government of being allegedly anti-Semitic, an assertion that is false, because this government maintains “absolute respect for religious freedom.”

Interior and Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami will disclose the details of the investigations in the next few hours.


The original article “Gobierno venezolano y comunidad judía expresaron voluntad de diálogo y colaboración” appeared on the Web site of YVKE Mundial on 12 February 2009.   Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).


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