Venezuela president orders 2 bishops probed for hate crimes

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called for an investigation into two Roman Catholic bishops for making comments critical of the government.

Maduro said in an address Monday the bishops may have committed hate crimes, an accusation he frequently levels at government critics.

He called on the pro-government chief prosecutor and Supreme Court to investigate.

Venezuela sits atop the world's largest oil reserves but is enduring an economic after nearly two decades of socialist rule.

The newspaper El National says Bishop Victor Hugo Basabe of San Felipe recently prayed for the liberation of Venezuela from the "corrupt plague" that sees citizens eating from garbage.

The newspaper says Bishop Antonio Lopez Castillo of Barquisimeto drew cheers from thousands at a Mass when he asked that Venezuela be saved from corruption.