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Maduro, opposition meet in first bid to end Venezuela protests

Published on Apr 11, 2014 10:01 AM
A meeting of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro (3rd right), with Venezuelan opposition leaders and Latin American Foreign Affairs Ministers at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas on April 10, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP  

CARACAS (AFP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro sat down for talks with arch-rival Henrique Capriles on Thursday in a first meeting with opposition leaders to end two months of deadly street protests.

Just one year after succeeding his late mentor, iconic leftist leader Hugo Chavez, Mr Maduro agreed to an unprecedented face-to-face meeting with the opposition, after the UNASUR group of South American nations offered to mediate.

The meeting, which involved about 20 representatives from both sides, was monitored by diplomats from the Vatican and the foreign ministers of Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador. It was broadcast on national television and radio.

"Violence can never bring peace to a country," the Vatican's envoy Aldo Giordano said, reading a letter from Pope Francis. "In the encounter between differences, we favor the common good."

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