Venezuela’s Maduro claims fear of US invasion, asks Pope for help
August 23, 2017
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has charged that the US is preparing to invade his country, and asked Pope Francis to help ward off the threat.
“I ask for the Pope’s help against the military threat from the United States,” said the Venezuelan strongman. He said that he has great respect for the “true Christian spirit” of Pope Francis, and counts on his support.
Maduro—who has frequently clashed with his own country’s bishops, and sought to invoke Pope Francis as an ally—said that he also hopes the Pontiff will support “dialogue, peace, understanding, and defense of Venezuela’s sovereignty.”
While the Venezuelan bishops have been highly critical of Maduro’s authoritarian rule, Pope Francis has avoided taking sides in the country’s political crisis. Maduro once again exploited the papal silence, suggesting that the Pope supports him. I “believe in him,” Maduro said of the Pope; he pointedly remarked that he would not say the same about the Venezuelan hierarchy or even the Vatican Secretariat of State.