Pope urges talks as 4 die in fresh Venezuela violence
July 03 2017 12:09 AM
An injured opposition activist is taken away by volunteer medics during protest against the governme
An injured opposition activist is taken away by volunteer medics during protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, at the Francisco Fajardo highway in Caracas, on Saturday.


Pope Francis yesterday called for an end to violence in Venezuela and urged the country to find a “democratic solution” to its problems.
“I assure my prayers for this beloved nation and express my closeness to the families who have lost their children in the streets,” he said two days after four more protesters died. 
“I call for an end to violence and a peaceful and democratic solution to the crisis,” the Argentine said at the end of the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s Square.
Four protesters were killed in the Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto according to officials on Saturday, who said the number of people who have died in three months of anti-government demonstrations now has reached 89.
No official details were provided as to what led to the latest deaths late Friday, although at least one opposition member of Venezuela’s legislature said the victims, who ranged in age from 20 to 49, died by gunfire. The city Barquisimeto is located some 350km west of Caracas.
Saturday marked three months of opposition protests demanding the ouster of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro whose term in office runs until January 2019.
Maduro is blamed for a desperate economic crisis — marked by shortages of food, medicine and other basics — that has sparked hunger and deadly violence.
The international community has called for mediation to solve the Venezuela crisis after Vatican-backed talks last year broke down.

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