[Ed. – Inevitable.]
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is expressing concern about Venezuela’s escalating political crisis and wants to meet with leaders on both sides in an upcoming trip.
Carter, a mediator of past political conflict in the deeply polarized South American nation, made the offer in private letters he sent this week to President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
Expressing “grave concern” about the loss of life in recent protests and the risk of more conflict ahead, Carter in the letter to Capriles said that for dialogue aimed at easing tensions to succeed both side must “send signals of their willingness to alleviate the present state of tension.”
For the opposition, that means making clear its commitment to act within constitutional limits and strongly reject violence, the Nobel peace laureate wrote. In turn the government must guarantee the right to peaceful protest and impartial justice for jailed protesters.
“It is difficult for elected officials from opposition parties to resolve differences when they feel threatened and persecuted,” Carter wrote.