VATICAN CITY – Negotiations between government and opposition groups in Venezuela, followed by free and fair elections, are needed to put an end to violence and bring relief to the suffering people, a Vatican official said.

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VATICAN CITY – After meeting Pope Francis and seeing how moved he was by their description of the crisis gripping Venezuela, the leaders of the country's bishops' conference said they hoped the Pope would help draw the world's attention to the suffering of their people.

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VATICAN CITY – With soaring food prices and a free-falling economy, child malnutrition in Venezuela has crossed the threshold of a humanitarian crisis, the local chapter of Caritas Internationalis said.

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MADRID, Spain – Over the past nine years, Spain has been hit particularly hard by the worldwide economic crisis.

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CARACAS, Venezuela – A year ago, Miledi Berdu and her husband, Robert Rodriguez, began skipping meals to keep their children fed as Venezuela's economic crisis continued. Rodriguez's salary as a welder in Caracas was not enough to cover soaring prices, and shortages made food expensive.

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CARACAS, Venezuela – The bishops of Venezuela have urged that elections take place in the country in a timely manner, in light of the crisis of hyperinflation and chronic shortages of goods facing their nation.

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VATICAN CITY – Venezuela's opposition party pleaded with Pope Francis to mediate discussions with President Nicolas Maduro's government to find a solution to the current crisis that has left most of the country without food or basic necessities.

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ROME – The Venezuelan bishops' conference will close its college for priests in Rome at least for the 2016-2017 academic year because of the economic difficulties facing the country, the seminary rector said.

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