Bishops Mediate Venezuela Election

Supporters of opposition leader Henrique Capriles run from tear gas fired by riot police following voting in Caracas

In a statement released on April 17, the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela, where tension remains high after violent post-election clashes caused at least eight deaths, urged “political and social leaders not to use offensive, derogatory and inflammatory language” and to “avoid clashes on the streets.” The bishops said, “As Christians we are supposed to be on the side of the weak; we must forgive and fight for union to prevail over division, love over hate, peace over violence.” The bishops offered to help resolve a dispute over the outcome of Venezuela’s presidential election on April 14. Vice President under the late Hugo Chávez, President Nicolás Maduro was declared the winner and sworn in on April 19. His challenger, Henrique Capriles, has demanded a recount, which the National Electoral Council has agreed to conduct.

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