May 22, 2013
Maduro congratulates Pope Francis in letter
Venezuela’s Acting President Nicolás Maduro wrote a letter to Pope Francis yesterday, expressing “congratulations” in the name of the people of Venezuela on being the first Latin American “to sit on the throne of Peter.”
Maduro assured the pontiff that “for we who live in the Patria Grande (Greater Fatherland) it is highly significant that the new pope come from our Argentina.”
Maduro shared the letter with the nation on his Twitter account where he expressed hope that the Pope’s reign will be known for “peace, justice, equality and fraternity.”
In the letter, Maduro underscored the phrase Pope Francis said speaking to journalists on Saturday: “Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor.”
“Those words,” Maduro said, “bring to mind the preferred option our Comandante Chávez always had for the poor.”
Maduro said National Assemby President Diosdado Cabello, who led Venezuela’s delegation to the Vatican, extended greetings to the Pope in the name of Venezuela.
“He told him that we are looking forward to learn much from him, because he had taken the name of Francis, for St Francis of Assisi, who forsook all his worldly belongings to walk among the poor,” Maduro said in Arupe.
“If anyone in this 21st Century comes close to the values of St Francis of Assisi, it is our Comandante Hugo Chávez,” he added. “We sent a message full of love and asked him to keep our people and ourselves in his prayers as we will have him in ours,” Maduro said.