In case you missed it, Venezuelan president, Socialist totalitarian, and Hugo-Chavez wannabe Nicolas Maduro published a candid, touching opinion piece lying, sniveling piece of propaganda tripe in the New York Times earlier this week, and it was a doozy:

THE recent protests in Venezuela have made international headlines. Much of the foreign media coverage has distorted the reality of my country and the facts surrounding the events.

Venezuelans are proud of our democracy. We have built a participatory democratic movement from the grass roots that has ensured that both power and resources are equitably distributed among our people. …

We have created flagship universal health care and education programs, free to our citizens nationwide. We have achieved these feats in large part by using revenue from Venezuelan oil. …

Popular participation in politics in Venezuela has increased dramatically over the past decade. As a former union organizer, I believe profoundly in the right to association and in the civic duty to ensure that justice prevails by voicing legitimate concerns through peaceful assembly and protest.

Lolz. No need to dive any further into that one (although I will point you toward Francisco Toro at The New Republic and Fausta Wertz for some epic obliteration of Maduro’s shameless spin-doctoring). On the exact same day the op-ed was published, funnily enough, the Catholic bishops in Caracas came out swinging especially hard against the devolving situation in Venezuelan and Maduro’s totalitarian means of trying to tamp it down:

Venezuela’s organization of Roman Catholic bishops is accusing the government of seeking totalitarian-style rule, comments that potentially could complicate the Vatican’s offer to facilitate talks between the socialist government and its opposition.

The Conference of Venezuelan Bishops is calling on President Nicolas Maduro to halt his crackdown on critics who have been protesting in the streets for seven weeks. The conference president is Bishop Diego Padron. Speaking in Caracas on Wednesday, he accused Maduro of attempting to criminalize dissent.

The statement comes a few days after the Vatican said it was willing to facilitate talks between the two sides.

Subsequently, on Thursday, Maduro apparently promised to put together a super-special commission to look into all the human rights violations for which he’s being criticized, including reports of the torture of arrested protesters:

Faced with harsh criticism from the Catholic Church and international rights organizations, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced Thursday the creation of a special human rights panel that will look into charges of abuse against opposition groups. …

Taking a different stance than his predecessor, the late Hugo Chávez, who would often insult Catholic bishops and ignore their recommendations, Maduro said he is willing to act on the concerns expressed on Wednesday by the religious leaders. …

During a three-hour televised address, Maduro explained that Vice President Jorge Arreza will preside over the commission, which will include the defense and interior ministers and the heads of civic organizations. In all 15 people will be appointed to the panel, which will be advised “by a group of experts” from Unasur, he said.

…Yeah, I’m sure that’ll do the trick.