The Pope is seeking to intervene in Venezuela, where, once again in the Third Word, a socialist regime has wreaked economic devastation:
Pope Francis has sent a “personal letter” to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in which he address his concern over the “seriousness” of “the county’s situation.”
“I can say that the Pope did write a personal letter to President Maduro concerning the situation in the country,” papal spokesman Federico Lombardi confirmed to journalists on Saturday.
“The seriousness of the situation is also clearly shown in the recent statement by the Bishops on April 27, when the Nuncio Monsignor Giordano very clearly spoke out in favour of dialogue sponsored by the Pope,” Lombardi said.
Additionally, the papal spokesman repeated Francis’ message from the Urbi et Orbi blessing from Easter, where he requested that the Easter message “be felt ever more powerfully by the beloved people of Venezuela in the difficult conditions which they are experiencing, and by those responsible for the country’s future, that everyone may work for the common good, seeking spaces of dialogue and cooperation with all. May efforts be made everywhere to promote the culture of counter, justice and reciprocal respect, which alone can guarantee the spiritual and material welfare of all people.”
After his success as an interlocutor in neighbouring Cuba, and his willingness to plant himself firmly in the middle of political disputes ranging from Europe’s immigration crisis to Ukraine’s civil war, An intervention from Pope Francis into the mounting political tensions in Venezuela appears more and more likely as the various problems affecting the country continue to deepen.
Amid a debilitating energy crisis, shortages of basic goods, and increasing violence, the country’s powers are embroiled in a political deadlock that looks only to lead to a pyrrhic outcome.
Since winning a landslide victory in December’s legislative elections, the opposition took control of the National Assembly with an absolute majority and have approved a series of bills that have been shot down one by one by the country highest court, which the opposition alleges is under the thumb of Maduro’s Socialist government. Maduro, in turn, accuses the opposition of arming a coup against him and of working for regional right-wing and US imperial interests.
Venezuela’s oil export-dependent economy shrank 5.7 percent last year, shortages of basic goods multiplied and prices soared. The government has instituted rolling blackouts and state employees are working only two days a week to conserve electricity.