Maduro, Pope Francis agree on regular dialogue with the Church
The Venezuelan leader proposed the pope an alliance to extend Venezuela's welfare program Misión Milagro (Miracle Mission)
- Opponents thank the Pope for his interest in Venezuela
- Maduro agrees on candid and regular dialogue with Episcopate
- Venezuelan Interior Minister meets with Episcopate
- Venezuelan President visits the Vatican
- Pope Francis holds 20-minute audience with Nicolás Maduro
- Nicolás Maduro meets with Pope Francis in Rome
The pope and Maduro further agreed on "the need for a sincere and regular dialogue between the (Venezuelan) Bishops Conference (CEV) and the State for the development of the nation."
For his part, the Venezuelan leader proposed Pope Francis a "social alliance" between Venezuela and the Holy See to extend the so-called Mission Milagro (Miracle Mission), a welfare program aimed at helping low-income citizens undergo a sight surgery for free.
After giving the pope, among other things, a sculpture of Dr. José Gregorio Hernández (1864-1919), Maduro called on His Holiness for the canonization of the man he termed "the saint of the poor."
The Venezuelan President seized the opportunity to meet with his Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano. During the meeting, the leaders went through Italy-Venezuela cooperation in the industrial sector, tourism, and security.
As late as Tuesday, February 25, there was some visible response from Gabriela Ramírez's office. Representatives of the Office of the Ombudswoman would visit independent human rights watch groups to find what happened in connection with repression of protests. That day, they visited NGO Provea. The next day, they met with the attorneys of NGO Venezuelan Criminal Forum. They pursued specific data because -they argued- no claims of human rights violations of demonstrators had been filed with the Office of the Ombudswoman.