Maduro writes to Pope for help | Daily News


Maduro writes to Pope for help

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro with Pope Francis.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro with Pope Francis.

VENEZUELA: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he has written to the Pope asking him to help mediate his country’s crisis after a swathe of nations recognised a rival opposition chief as interim leader, with the foreign ministry saying it would review ties with EU states over its support for Guaido.

“I sent a letter to Pope Francis,” Maduro told Italy’s SkyTG24 television in an interview broadcast on Monday, with opposition leader Juan Guaido gaining more international support.

“I told him that I serve Christ’s cause... and in this spirit I asked for his help, in a process of facilitating and strengthening dialogue,” said Maduro, who has rejected calls for snap presidential elections.

“I ask the Pope to put in his best effort, his will, to help on the path of dialogue. I hope to receive a positive response,” he said.

Maduro is supporting plans for a meeting of Latin American and European Union states in “Contact Group” talks in Montevideo on Thursday.

The Pope is currently on a visit to the United Arab Emirates and is due to return to Rome on Tuesday.

Under Maduro’s stewardship, oil-dependent Venezuela has plunged into an economic crisis, suffering from hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine. After several years of opposition efforts to oust Maduro, Guaido declared himself acting president at a rally on January 23.

World powers are taking sides in the deadly struggle to lead Venezuela, which has pitted some Western states against Russia, China and others.

Inside the country, opposition figurehead Juan Guaido, 35, is vying to lure military commanders to switch their allegiance to him away from President Nicolas Maduro, 56.

Here is a summary of whom the key players are backing, after Guaido on January 23 declared himself acting president in defiance of the leftist Maduro.


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