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WCC expresses growing concern on Venezuelan people’s future

14 February 2019

The World Council of Churches (WCC) expressed its “growing concern” for the lives and welfare of all people affected by failure to resolve the political situation in Venezuela, in a statement jointly signed by Dr Agnes Abuom, moderator of the WCC Central Committee, and Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary, on 14 February.

The WCC urged the country’s political leaders “to put the lives and livelihoods of the Venezuelan people before their own interests, and to avoid escalation of tensions and violence by rash words or actions”, reads the text. “The consequences of failing to do so will inevitably lead to much greater human suffering, and a deeper rift in the social and political fabric of the country and region.”

The political crisis in Venezuela is reaching a boiling point, following a descending spiral for years with growing political discontent further fueled by skyrocketing hyperinflation, power cuts and shortages of food and medicine.

The WCC leaders also called upon the neighboring countries and members of the international community “to avoid political misuse of urgently-needed humanitarian support for the people of Venezuela, both inside and outside its borders, and to refrain from threats of military intervention”.

More than three million Venezuelans have left the country in recent years. That number is expected to rise to more than five million by the end of 2019. An estimated 5,000 people pack up their lives and leave every day, eager to flee the economic collapse and humanitarian crisis besetting the oil-rich nation.

Read the full statement