Venezuela is currently being subjected to a set of sanctions and an economic-financial blockade imposed by the government of the United States and others. These actions have impacted the conditions and quality of life of the Venezuelan population. Many of the achievements made in previous years in terms of access to health, food, education, housing, decent work and poverty reduction have been harmed.
A biblical-theological look:
The Israelite People, the biblical people of Israel, in their long history of salvation/liberation were subdued and besieged by the empires of their time. The possibility of being a different society, focused on the protection of the defenceless, the orphan, widows, the elderly, the foreigner and the right to rest on the land, lived in a perennial threat from external and internal powers. The prophet Isaiah rightly denounces both situations. In the first place, he denounces the internal powers that deviate from the liberating project of God and which commit acts of injustice against the weak, the poor, the widows and the orphans (Isaiah 10: 1- 2). Secondly, he denounces and highlights the imperial mentality of his time represented by the King of Assyria, characterized by arrogance.
Venezuela, like the besieged and blockaded people of Judah, is threatened and attacked by imperial powers that use strategies similar to those used by the King of Assyria Sennacherib, who through a high official, warns the besieged and blockaded people of Judah that they will have to eat their own dung and their own urine (Isaiah 36:12). The entirety of chapter 36 of the book of the Prophet Isaiah
reveals a speech of imperial domination; it is a speech that seeks to sow fear, terror, division, and distrust in the people of Judah. This is especially seen in verses 16 and 17 in which the empire makes use of a deceitful offer: “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me; then every one of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree and drink water from your own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.”
Centuries later it is worth asking who is King Sennacherid today? Who is a high official? And who are the people of Judah today? What are the strategies of submission and conquest that are used to subdue people? Our communities in Venezuela continue to have hope. Many dream of seeing a new heaven and a new earth, many walk day-by-day towards a dawn of justice. The project of the Kingdom of God, the history of the salvation project, is this: the constant struggle for a
world of justice in favour of the oppressed, the underprivileged, the widow, the orphan, the disabled, the poor, the people who belong to the LGBT community. We have hope in our small project of liberation and justice that is built day-by- day here against systems of injustice.