Pope Francis offered on Tuesday to use his “good offices” mandate and broker a peaceful resolution to Venezuela’s political turmoil. This statement was issued upon Pope’s return to Rome from his recent trip in Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi Pope Francis participated in an interfaith conference and attended meetings with the religious authorities of Sunni Islam. The papal stay in the Arab Peninsula received global appraisal since it was the first time a head of the Christian Catholic Church visited these places.
With respect to the Venezuelan crisis, Pope Francis offered to bring both President Nicolas Maduro and his self-proclaimed opponent Juan Guaido to the table of negotiations. Pope Francis also revealed the receipt of a letter by President Maduro, without nonetheless disclosing its contents. Pope Francis finished his message hailing his predecessor’s contribution to world peace and expressed hopes to continue his paradigm.
His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, played a decisive role in settling the Beagle Conflict in December 1978. The Beagle Conflict began when the Argentinian military coup pre-planned Operation Soberania to reclaim lost sovereignty of adjacent islands in the Straits of Magellan and Cape Horn regions of Chile. As a result of the “good offices diplomacy” by Pope John Paul II, Argentina ceased the operation and Vatican deliberations led to the conclusion of the Montevideo Act of 08 January 1979, which established a formal political dialogue process under Pope’s supervision between the warning parties. The Montevideo deliberations were sidelined during the Falklands War but in the end paved the way for an eventual conclusion of the Argentine-Chilean conflict. On 29 November 1984, the former adversaries ratified the Treaty of Peace and Friendship at the Vatican City, effectively recognising Chilean sovereignty in the Straits of Magellan and Cape Horn.