Chaos in Venezuela as President Nicolas Maduro refuses to accept humanitarian aid from the Catholic Church or other international charitable organizations.


According to Archbishop Aldo Giordano, papal representative in Venezuela, Pope Francis is following the situation closely. During a visit on Thursday to the diocese of Maracaibo, he said that the pontiff “wants to contribute in whatever way possible in building peace, reconciliation, solving the problems of the people.”
Giordano also appealed for all the political sectors to “sit down at the same table” to try to address the country’s problems.

Earlier this month, Father Angelo Villasmil, the regional superior of the Dominican order, sent a letter to Dominicans across Latin America and the Caribbean, made available to the press, denouncing a “systematic violation of human rights” in Venezuela.
Villasmil also reported that “when night falls,” cities are taken over by criminal gangs that commit murders, kidnappings and extort bribes to the population.

Yet the situation has gotten so dire in the weeks since Villasmil wrote the letter, that it’s no longer just at night: On Friday, five young men, four of them Catholic seminarians, were stripped down and beaten up by a mob aligned with Maduro.
According to a statement from the Venezuelan Bishops Conference, the four future priests were on their way to class when a violent group intercepted them.

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