- Title: Venezuelan opposition formally requests pope to mediate with government
- Date: 28th September 2016
- Summary: CARACAS, VENEZUELA (SEPTEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF NUNCIATURE STATUE OF POPE JOHN PAUL II EXTERIOR OF NUNCIATURE SECRETARY OF DEMOCRATIC UNITY ROUNDTABLE (MUD) OPPOSITION GROUP, JESUS TORREALBA, LEAVING NUNCIATURE CAMERAMEN (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JESUS TORREALBA, LEADER OF THE DEMOCRATIC UNITY COALITION, SAYING: "We expect to have news from the Vatican within the next few days because it was the Holy See who sent this requirement with a sense of urgency. So we gladly welcome this process because we believe that the Vatican's intervention adds an element of moral equilibrium, an element of ethical equilibrium that could make this kind of exchange a useful process for Venezuelans." TORREALBA TALKING TO JOURNALISTS TORREALBA LEAVING NATIONAL POLICE STANDING GUARD EXTERIOR OF NUNCIATURE WITH SECURITY
- Embargoed: 13th October 2016 19:10
- Keywords: opposition MUD Jesus Torrealba church pope Nunciature
- Location: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00151HDW03
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Venezuela's opposition on Wednesday (September 28) formally requested the Vatican to serve as a potential mediator seeking dialogue between Venezuela's feuding government of President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition, after Pope Francis declared his willingness to promote these meetings.
A letter - read by Jesus Torrealba leader of the Democratic Unity coalition in front of the Apostolic Nunciature in Caracas - calls for the pope through his "wise counsel" to enlighten Venezuelans "and contribute to furthering talks between the national government and the democratic alternative."
"We expect to have news from the Vatican within the next few days because it was the Holy See who sent this requirement with a sense of urgency. So we gladly welcome this process because we believe that the Vatican's intervention adds an element of moral equilibrium, an element of ethical equilibrium that could make this kind of exchange a useful process for Venezuelans," Torrealba said.
The presentation of this letter comes days after the Venezuelan government also announced it had formally invited the Vatican to join the dialogue as a mediator.
With Venezuela enduring an unprecedented economic crisis, Maduro's socialist government is locked in a bitter standoff with the Democratic Unity opposition coalition.
The opposition won control of the legislature in 2015 and is pushing for a recall referendum this year to try and remove Maduro, whom they blame for Venezuela's runaway inflation, product shortages and third year of recession.
But Maduro, 53, the former bus driver who won election to succeed Hugo Chavez in 2013, accuses them of planning a coup and says the referendum will not happen. The government-leaning Supreme Court has shot down most of the legislature's measures.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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