Pope Francis appeals for peace, reconciliation in Venezuela 02/07/2017 13:56
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis appealed for peace and reconciliation in Venezuela on Sunday.
Addressing pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray the traditional noonday *Angelus* with him on Sunday, the Holy Father renewed his call for prayerful solidarity with the people of Venezuela, just a few days ahead of the nation’s Independence Day on July 5th.
“I promise my own prayers for this beloved nation [Venezuela] and express my closeness to the families who have lost their children in the streets,” Pope Francis said, referring to the often violent – protests in the country that began in March in the wake of a constitutional crisis and subsequent political stalemate that has yet to be broken.
Nearly one hundred people have been killed in the ongoing civil unrest.
“I call for end to violence and a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis,” the Holy Father said, before imploring the intercession of Our Lady of Coromoto – Patroness of Venezuela – and leading the faithful gathered beneath the window of the Papal apartments in the recitation of the Hail Mary. ===
Robert Naiman Policy Director Just Foreign Policy www.justforeignpolicy.org naiman at justforeignpolicy.org (202) 448-2898 x1
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On Sun, Jul 2, 2017 at 7:36 PM, Marv Gandall <marvgand2 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Excellent in depth article on the crisis in Venezuela by sympathetic
> observer Greg Grandin, writing in the latest London Review of Books.
> 1. On the achievements and contradictions of the Bolivarian regime: "The
> social gains of Chavismo at its apex, from around 2005 to Chávez’s final
> re-election in 2012, were spectacular: greater employment, improved
> nutrition, increased literacy and life expectancy, more and better housing.
> But the system of petroleum-funded independent missions created new sources
> of waste, while at the same time letting the state bureaucracy rot…”
> 2. On the roots and nature of current crisis: “Today Venezuela is gripped
> by a crisis of extraordinary proportions, as all that Chávez helped create
> is collapsing. To understand how Venezuela got to this point – to
> understand Chávez’s spectacular rise and his country’s equally spectacular
> breakdown – it helps to know something about where he came from. And it
> helps to know something about the country’s oil…”
> 3. On the decisive role and political temper of the barrios: “Maduro may
> have lost their goodwill, but social gains won in the heyday of Chavismo –
> schools, food distribution centres, health clinics, daycare – are still
> functioning, however stressed, in these neighbourhoods, and while their
> residents may not be actively supporting the government, they aren’t yet
> ready to overthrow it. Meanwhile Chávez, in death as in life, continues to
> transcend the polarisation. According to a recent poll, 79 per cent picked
> him as the best president the country has ever had. A slightly smaller but
> still large majority say he was Venezuela’s most democratic and efficient
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