Maduro has asked the Vatican to help launch talks. Francis has said both sides must request external mediation and expressed a willingness to sound out Guaido’s camp.
The Venezuelan delegation later met with the Italian interior and foreign ministers. Italy’s populist government, which splits power between the right- wing League and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, has not joined other countries in lining up to back Guaido.
The Italian Foreign Ministry identified the delegation members as Francisco Sucre, president of the foreign affairs commission of the anti-Maduro National Assembly; former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezm, and Rodrigo Diamanti, an activist whom the ministry identified as Guaido’s representative.
The wife of Ledezma, Mitzy De Ledezma, told reporters the message from the delegation to the Italians was clear: «That they will support our current president, who is Juan Guiado, a democratic president that God willing will bring the next Venezuela toward a democratic transition under the flag of democracy, which is what we mainly need in our country.»