While violent protests continue to break out in the streets of Venezuela, Pope Francis urged the country’s bishops to remain close to the poor and needy.
‘My dear brothers, I encourage you to not allow the beloved children of Venezuela to be overcome by mistrust or despair, for these are the evils that penetrate people’s hearts when they do not see prospects for the future,’ the pope wrote in a letter to the country’s bishops.
Venezuela has descended into chaos after years of food shortages and economic turmoil under embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s government. Despite expressing a willingness to negotiate with the opposition, he has been accused of tightening his grip on power and suppressing any threat to his rule.
Protests began after 29th March, when the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled to dissolve the country’s parliament, in which the opposition had a two-thirds majority following the 2015 elections. The unprecedented ruling transferred legislative powers to the Supreme Court, which is comprised of judges nominated by Maduro.
Picture: A demonstrator carries Venezuela’s flag in Caracas, Venezuela, on 26th April. (CNS photo/Miguel Gutierrez, EPA).