(VIDEO ONLY. FOOTAGE FROM 2013) Pope Francis met with Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, who is visiting Rome by surprise.
The meeting, which was held in private, took place in an office in Paul VI Audience Hall, a very different environment from the one where they met the last time.
On that occasion, they met during a public audience in which Maduro was accompanied by a large entourage. On this occasion, his meeting was a one-on-one with the pope.
According to the statement issued by the Vatican, this meeting takes place in the midst of a "worrysome political, social, and economic situation the country is going through, which is having serious repercussins in the daily life of the people.”
Pope Francis has also asked Maduro that he "take up the path of constructive and honest dialogue to ease the suffering of the people, especially the poor,” and that he foster "the promotion of a climate of renewed social unity, which will enable a new perspective of hope for the future of the nation.”
This is the second time the pope and Nicolás Maduro meet in the Vatican. The first was in 2013. A second visit was scheduled in 2015, but Maduro canceled at the last moment for medical reasons.