Vatican official cancels trip to Venezuela as crisis mounts
May 19, 2016
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's top foreign-policy official, has cancelled a planned trip to Venezuela, in the face of mounting unrest in the South American country.
"For reasons that are not dependent on the Holy See," the Secretary for Relations with States will not visit as scheduled later this month, the Church in Venezuela announced on May 19. The visit by Archbishop Gallagher had been seen as a possible opportunity for dialogue with President Nicolas Maduro, who has frequently clashed with the Venezuelan hierarchy.
Rampant inflation has combined with a severe economic slump to cause food shortages and power outages in Venezuela. The failure of the Maduro government to address the crisis in turn has prompted angry public demonstrations and occasional bursts of violence.