Venezuelan Official Asks for Papal Mediation in Nation

Opposition Leader Requests Francis’ Help in Beginning a ‘National Dialogue’

The president of an opposition parliamentarian group in Venezuela, Acción Democrática leader Edgar Zambrano, asked Pope Francis for mediation to begin a national dialogue.

Zambrano spoke with the Holy Father for a few minutes after last Wednesday’s general audience. Two days before that, Venezuela’s new president, Nicolas Maduro, met with the Pope in the Vatican.

Zambrano told ZENIT that last Tuesday, he and his delegation were received by the Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, to whom they explained the situation of the country and pointed out the need for Parliament to approve amnesty legislation, as a condition to move towards dialogue and national reconciliation. 

Monsignor Mamberti was given “a copy of the Draft Law of National Amnesty and Political Reconciliation, and a series of documents and petitions that political and civil organizations sent to the Holy Farther. All are in favor of fellow countrymen who have been obliged to go into involuntary exile, who are subjected to the rigors of prison, and deputies who are subjected to trials due to actions of a political nature, contradicting parliamentary immunity,” he said.  

The Venezuelan deputy added that the Church has the necessary moral authority to mediate. “The Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Urosa and other bishops could be mediators in this dialogue.”

Zambrano acknowledged that the Opposition does not have the necessary numbers in Parliament to obtain the approval on its own, although the proposal of reconciliation is a topic that is also of interest to the party in government, he explained.