Sun, Mar 30, 2014 - Page 7 News List

Venezuela mulls Vatican as go-between

FOR ‘GOOD OF COUNTRY’:The Venezuelan president said he would come to the table with the opposition with an external observer to break the impasse

AP, CARACAS

Maduro may also be better off devoting his energies to shoring up support among the poor, who are also suffering the effects of 57 percent inflation and chronic shortages, but have so far failed to join the protests in large numbers.

Yet a religious representative may have more chances of succeeding than the alternative agreeable to Maduro: regional diplomats who would be tainted by the ideological divide across Latin America, a schism in many ways fostered by late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez’s financial support for like-minded, anti-US governments.

Even if neither side wishes to compromise, it would be politically difficult to reject an envoy sent by the wildly popular Francis in a country where more than 90 percent of the population is Catholic.

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