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Vatican Role in Venezuela’s Crisis Sparks Backlash, Columnist Asks Pope Francis to Back Out

By: Orlando Avendaño - @OrlvndoA - Feb 9, 2017, 7:25 am
Vatican Role in Venezuela's Crisis
The Miami Herald columnist said mediation of the Vatican and the failure of the opposition are the biggest obstacles to a political solution to the crisis in Venezuela.

EspañolIn a column published this February 8 in The Miami Herald, the noted Argentine journalist and columnist Andrés Oppenheimer suggested that Pope Francis “get out of Venezuela” and not continue to promote the process of dialogue between the dictatorship and the opposition.

“Most of us have praised Pope Francisco for his humility and for his tolerance of the victims of discrimination, which for a long time was a neglected topic for the Vatican, but it is time to say it loud and clear: leave Venezuela!” He wrote.

“The Vatican’s mediation effort in Venezuela has been a disaster. It has legitimized that country’s authoritarian ruler, Nicolás Maduro, by throwing him a lifeguard when millions of demonstrators demanded his resignation in the streets in October 2016.”

The Miami Herald columnist said he is convinced that the mediation of the Vatican and the failure of the opposition coalition is becoming the biggest obstacles to a political and economic solution to the crisis in Venezuela.

“The mediation of UNASUR and the Vatican has failed,” he said bluntly.

He also said the dialogue sponsored by the Vatican has not yielded concrete results, but rather “has managed to make Maduro’s regime invalidate the call of the Venezuelan citizens of the recall referendum, and has taken away the faculties from the most important power of the country: The National Assembly.”

In an interview this week, Secretary General of the OAS Luis Almagro reportedly has his hands tied while Vatican and UNASUR mediation continues in Venezuela, another issue the columnist had with the Vatican’s presence.

He said there are three keys to getting Venezuela out of this “depressing spiral.”

“First, the Venezuelan opposition and the Vatican must announce that, officially, mediation is over. Secondly, they must officially declare a dictatorship in Venezuela … and finally, the opposition must request the OAS to activate the Inter-American Democratic Charter,” Oppenheimer said.

“Pope Francis must take the first step, and stop being an obstacle to the restoration of democracy in Venezuela,” he concluded.

Source: Miami Herald

Orlando Avendaño Orlando Avendaño

Orlando Avendaño is a PanAm Post intern who resides in Caracas, Venezuela, where he studies social communication at Andrés Bello Catholic University. Follow @OrlvndoA.