- Jan 23, 2021
Led by Catholic priests in white vestments, several hundred Venezuelans said prayers Sunday at a candle-lit vigil for at least five people killed in street clashes following a failed opposition call for a military uprising.
While protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raged across the country, National Guard forces loyal to the embattled head of state launched tear gas at churchgoers attending Mass at a local parish.
Catholic Church leaders in Venezuela say a peaceful transfer of power from embattled President Nicolas Maduro to a transitional government, probably led by National Assembly president Juan Guaido, is the best hope for the country.
A Catholic News Service contributor in Caracas, Venezuela, was taken by military counterintelligence officials after his home was raided early March 6.
While Venezuela’s bishops have been leading a charge for Maduro’s removal, urging a boycott of what they call an “illegitimate” presidential election last year and denouncing the government’s human rights abuses, the Vatican has pursued a softer approach.
Tensions were high along Venezuela’s borders after clashes protesting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s decision not to allow humanitarian aid into the country for millions of vulnerable citizens.