World Day of the Poor: Fr. General’s Letter, & 43 Countries

As we celebrate the third World Day of the Poor, prophetically established by Pope Francis, I have just returned from a very unique visitation to Columbia and Venezuela. Let me limit myself here to Venezuela, because of some very touching experiences in this country.

Venezuela, as we all know, is one of the resourcefully rich countries of the world, blessed with petroleum, gold, and many other precious minerals. In the 1960’s, this was one of South America’s wealthiest countries, enjoying the highest standard of living; yet today, how different the situation.

1 US dollar is equal to about 30,000 Venezuelan Bolivar. The monthly earnings of a worker is around $5; a medical doctor told me he gets $20 per month, if he even comes to be paid. Just imagine, then, the situation of ordinary people.

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