Vatican in Venezuela crisis talks

A woman holds a sign asking Pope Francis to pray for Venezuela during his February trip to Abu Dhabi, UAE (CNS/Paul Haring)

As efforts to find a diplomatic solution to Venezuela’s crisis through dialogue continue, the Vatican has confirmed that the Holy See took part in the meetings in Sweden last week. Source: Crux.

Though the actual dates or the list of the participants are not known, the hosting government has confirmed that several “key international actors” attended.

The Vatican’s interim spokesman, Italian layman Alessandro Gisotti, confirmed the Holy See’s presence, saying that the Church had received the invitation by the Swedish government to take part in “a meeting that was held these days in Stockholm on the humanitarian emergency in Venezuela”.

Neither the Vatican nor the Swedish government have given further information on which countries participated in the dialogue efforts or the rank of the representatives. However, a spokesperson for the United Nations, Stephane Dujarric, said the UN wasn’t involved. According to anonymous sources quoted by the Associated Press, the US wasn’t involved.

“The Swedish government has hosted a meeting in Stockholm with some key international actors in support of current efforts to urgently promote a peaceful, political and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela, and to alleviate the plight of the Venezuelan people,” the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Friday.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó has channelled the frustrations of angry Venezuelans suffering from food shortages made worse by punishing US oil sanctions but has been unable to weaken President Nicolás Maduro’s grip on power and sway the loyalty of the military.

Mr Guaidó in brief comments during a tour of the western state of Mérida told a crowd that Venezuela’s crisis was being discussed in Stockholm on Thursday but offered no details.

“This meeting shows clearly that there’s consensus in the world for new presidential elections,” Guaidó said.

Speaking with reporters on the way back from a trip to United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis told reporters that the Vatican would be willing to mediate in Venezuela if both sides asked, adding that some preliminary steps had to be taken first, including dialogue efforts that could bring the sides closer to one another.

FULL STORY

Vatican takes part in dialogue to resolve crisis in Venezuela (Crux

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