Caracas, Venezuela, Jan 4, 2018 / 17:19 pm
In his New Year's message, the Archbishop of Caracas encouraged transparent elections the results of which the citizenry could trust, in order to alleviate the grave crisis affecting the country.
"The year 2017 was very tragic for Venezuela, marked by political violence with a terrible toll of more than 120 persons killed in attacks on demonstrations held by the people," read the message of Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino.
Venezuela is experiencing a severe economic crisis, with hyperinflation and chronic shortages of food and medicine.
Its socialist president, Nicolas Maduro, is due to run for re-election this year, as his term ends in 2019. Last July, contested elections led to the formation of a Constituent Assembly, which has superseded the authority of the National Assembly, Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature.