• search
For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

Failure in Venezuela talks could lead to 'bloodshed': Vatican envoy


Buenos Aires, Nov 5 If upcoming Vatican-backed talks between Venezuela's bitterly antagonistic government and opposition fail, the result could well be "bloodshed," a papal envoy warned today.


"If one delegation or the other ends the dialogue, it's not the pope but the Venezuelan people who will lose, because the path then could truly be one of blood," Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli told the Argentine daily La Nacion in Rome, after visiting Caracas.

Both sides are due to start talks next Friday aimed at finding some way to resolve Venezuela's deepening political and economic crisis.

The stakes are high for their oil-dependent nation, which is suffering a scarcity of food and basic goods, and which its unpopular President Nicolas Maduro has increasingly put under the control of his loyal military.

The agreement to hold talks, jointly brokered by the Vatican and the Union of South American Nations, and backed by the United States, ushered in a short-lived truce between the government and the opposition.

The government released a few opposition members from prison. And the opposition called off a symbolic "trial" in congress against Maduro and a street protest.

But the prospects look less than promising, with the opposition demanding the release of more "political prisoners" that the talks will lead to early elections, and Maduro shooting back: "There can be no ultimatums." There are fears a breakdown in the talks could see a return of street confrontations between anti-Maduro protesters and security forces, and possibly an escalation into outright violence.

"There are people who aren't afraid to see bloodshed. This is what worries me," Celli told the newspaper. He said Pope Francis was playing a "strong role" in the talks. "We are running a risk," he admitted.

"We will see. May God help us." Celli, who represented the Vatican in bringing about the talks, said he told the opposition he was afraid "there might be deaths" in a Caracas demonstration they had planned for last Thursday.

"And if there are deaths, what sort of dialogue could there be?" he asked them. The opposition eventually called off the protest.

Celli said that when he met Maduro, the leader said he would make good on a promise made to the pope to hold talks.


For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more