Nicolás Maduro meets with Pope Francis in Rome
The Venezuelan Head of State is slated to meet with the Italian president as well
The Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi, said last week that "it will be an audience with a Head of State, like all the others the Pope has held in recent months with Latin American leaders."
Subsequently, Maduro will meet with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, and in the afternoon will hold a meeting with representatives of social movements. This is his first official trip to Europe after he was elected president of Venezuela.
The hearing is the first in a week marked by the presence of Venezuela at the Vatican, as three opposition lawmakers will meet on Tuesday with the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, Dominique Mamberti, and also attend the Wednesday general audience.
A shipment of over 30,000 tons of phosphate arrived at Puerto Cabello port in late July on board the Shi Long Ling, a Chinese-flagged vessel that began its long journey in northern Africa. The cargo boat docked on July 26 after traveling more than 3,200 nautical miles. Undoubtedly, this would just be considered one in many cargo ships crisscrossing the oceans if it were not for the fact that Venezuela has denounced Western Sahara occupation by Morocco and yet purchases the territory's natural resource products from the occupying power.