Pope urges Venezuela's Maduro to alleviate people's suffering | Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY VATICAN CITY Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made a surprise visit on Monday to Pope Francis, who urged the embattled leader to alleviate people's suffering and negotiate with the opposition to solve his country's crisis.The private, evening meeting took place in the framework of the 'worrying' situation in Venezuela which was 'weighing heavily on the entire population', a Vatican statement said.It said the pope had urged Maduro to 'courageously take up the path of sincere and constructive dialogue to alleviate the suffering of the people, most of all the poor, and to promote a climate of renewed social cohesion, which will allow people to look to the future of the nation with hope'.Despite its oil wealth, Venezuela has plunged into economic crisis, with many people skipping meals due to shortages and soaring prices. Maduro was on a tour of oil-producing countries and first word of his presence in Italy came in the Vatican statement.Significantly, the meeting with the pope came as a joint announcement in Caracas said the government and the opposition would hold talks on Sunday. It was not clear if Maduro would attend.

Reuters October 25, 2016 03:45:06 IST
Pope urges Venezuela's Maduro to alleviate people's suffering
| Reuters

Pope urges Venezuelas Maduro to alleviate peoples suffering
 Reuters

By Philip Pullella
| VATICAN CITY

VATICAN CITY Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro made a surprise visit on Monday to Pope Francis, who urged the embattled leader to alleviate people's suffering and negotiate with the opposition to solve his country's crisis.The private, evening meeting took place in the framework of the "worrying" situation in Venezuela which was "weighing heavily on the entire population", a Vatican statement said.It said the pope had urged Maduro to "courageously take up the path of sincere and constructive dialogue to alleviate the suffering of the people, most of all the poor, and to promote a climate of renewed social cohesion, which will allow people to look to the future of the nation with hope".Despite its oil wealth, Venezuela has plunged into economic crisis, with many people skipping meals due to shortages and soaring prices.

Maduro was on a tour of oil-producing countries and first word of his presence in Italy came in the Vatican statement.Significantly, the meeting with the pope came as a joint announcement in Caracas said the government and the opposition would hold talks on Sunday. It was not clear if Maduro would attend.

Venezuela has seen a worsening political standoff and protests since the suspension of a referendum drive to remove the unpopular Maduro.Foes say Maduro, 53, has veered openly into dictatorship by sidelining the opposition-led congress, jailing opponents and then leaning on compliant judicial and electoral authorities to stop a recall referendum.

An official of Maduro's Socialist Party said the Vatican and Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which has been leading a dialogue initiative, would monitor Sunday's talks on Margarita Island. (Additional reporting by Diego Ore and Anggy Polanco in Venezuela; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

also read

US, Israel exploring a 'Plan B' if Iran does not rejoin talks to salvage 2015 nuclear deal
World

US, Israel exploring a 'Plan B' if Iran does not rejoin talks to salvage 2015 nuclear deal

Their comments came as Iran has hinted it’s ready to return to indirect negotiations with the US in Vienna but has not committed to a date

North Korea's Kim Jong-un vows to build invincible military, slams US' 'persistent hostility'
World

North Korea's Kim Jong-un vows to build invincible military, slams US' 'persistent hostility'

Kim also accused South Korea of hypocrisy because it criticises North Korea’s weapons development as provocations while spending heavily to increase its own military capabilities

US green card backlog: Fate of Indian immigrants hangs in balance
India

US green card backlog: Fate of Indian immigrants hangs in balance

With no more than 10,000 Indians eligible for green cards a year, a vast majority of applicants have no choice but to wait for their turn