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.
In a 13th June letter to six former Latin American heads of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said the Holy See continues to follow Pope Francis’ directives and is ‘trying to help find a solution to the current serious difficulties’.
‘The Holy See continues to consider that a serious and sincere negotiation between the parties, based on very clear conditions, beginning with the celebration of constitutionally scheduled elections, can solve the serious situation in Venezuela and the suffering to which the population is subjected,’ said Cardinal Parolin’s letter.
The Vatican did not release the cardinal’s letter, but it was posted on the blog Sismografo.
Pope Francis had met on 8th June with the leadership of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference, which requested the meeting as the country’s political and economic crisis became increasingly violent. Since April, anti-government protests have led to the death of some 70 people, both government and opposition supporters.
Picture: Protesters are seen next to a burning car during a 14th June rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government in Caracas. (CNS photo/Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Reuters).