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World

Vatican No 2 skips trip to Venezuela, cites pandemic

ROME — The Vatican No. 2 is skipping a planned trip to Venezuela this week because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's former ambassador to Caracas, had planned to celebrate the April 30 beatification of Jose Gregorio Hernandez, dubbed the "doctor of the poor."

The Vatican said Wednesday that because of issues linked to the pandemic, Parolin wouldn't make the trip.

His visit coincided with revived efforts by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government to court the Biden administration in hopes it will ease sanctions meant to isolate the socialist leader.

The Associated Press