Venezuela: Pope has offered to meet with leaders to help resolve crisis
February 15, 2017
Pope Francis has indicated a willingness to meet personally with representatives of both the Venezuelan government and the political opposition, in order to re-start talks to address the country’s deepening economic and political crisis.
Archbishop Aldo Giordano, the apostolic nuncio in Caracas, said: “The Pope has expressed his availability, if [both parties] consider it useful. The Vatican has strongly supported the negotiations between the government of President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition. But the talks broke down in December, after the government failed to comply with the accepted terms for the talks.
Venezuelans has suffered for months through severe shortages of food and medicine, and frequent disruptions of utility services, as the country’s economic system has collapsed under the current government. The country’s legislators have called for a referendum vote on Maduro’s leadership, which the president has refused to allow.