By Tim Harfmann
The people of Venezuela are desperate. They’re so hungry, they’re eating out of the garbage because relief supplies have been destroyed. Venezuelan soldiers locked arms to shut off humanitarian aid from reaching the country’s citizens. But Catholic Relief Services — the international, Catholic aid agency — is doing its best to help. “Politics come and go. Unfortunately, sometimes they get worse than ever. But the Church and the humanitarian efforts go on. We just find a way to serve, especially the needy and the poor, in any way we can,” said Bishop Gregory Mansour. The Brooklyn-based bishop is the chairman of CRS.
CRS is working with Caritas, another international aid organization, to provide basic goods to the Latin American country. Over 3.5-million Venezuelans have fled the nation to receive emergency materials in neighboring countries. “In the last couple of weeks, we know — for sure — some of the relief has gotten in; or people have come over the boarder to receive it,” said Bishop Mansour.
Venezuelan bishops called on the government to end the crisis and listen to people pleading for help. “The (Venezuelan bishops) I’ve known, they’re men of integrity; and I think when they cry out, we should listen,” said Bishop Mansour. He hoped the United States is able to bring about a peaceful solution in Venezuela. “I just hope and pray that the American government and whatever becomes of the Venezuelan government, will find some meeting of the mind for the good of people.”
Bishop Mansour promised Catholic Relief Services will continue to provide aid for Venezuela for as long as it takes.