Strong Support in Spain for Zapatero’s Mediation in Venezuela

Madrid, Feb 14 (Prensa Latina) More than 200 politicians, trade union leaders and intellectuals today expressed support for the mediation of former Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Venezuela.

The strong support for the conciliatory role of the social-democratic politician in the Venezuelan conflict was expressed in a manifesto signed by 227 people, including top officials during Zapatero’s term in office in Spain (2004-2011).

In the document, the signatories condemned what they described as unjust disqualifications of the former head of the Spanish government, who has often been criticized by the local right wing, particularly by the conservative Popular Party (PP) of incumbent President Mariano Rajoy.

For his part, the leader of the liberal party Ciudadanos, Albert Rivera, who strongly defends the opposition to the constitutional government of Nicolas Maduro, described Zapatero’s efforts as a disaster.

Rivera noted last Sunday that the Rajoy administration ‘cannot continue legitimizing and yielding to Zapatero Spain’s foreign stance on Venezuela.’

‘No one like Zapatero knows what has happened during the process of dialogue in Venezuela, the stances of each of the parties and the several stakeholders, the papers exchanged or the messages and mails sent,’ says the manifesto, whose signatories highlighted the former president’s discretion during the process and slashed some of the criticisms of him, despite what they consider the great personal effort that caused him this role in an ‘absolutely unselfish’ manner.

‘It would be absurd to seek in this case some spurious motivations, and there is no reason either that explains the deliberate intention of accusing him of favoring one of the parties. Neither due to a hidden interest nor due to ideological affinity,’ notes the text.

After describing Zapatero as a man of peace, the manifesto highlights his work for peaceful coexistence in Venezuela, ‘beyond the sympathy or ideological proximity generated by the stances of the parties involved in the dispute.

It recalls that in Spain, the Venezuelan situation is often used ‘with objectives that have little to do with the hardships affecting Venezuelans’.

The signatories think that their duty is to condemn the accusations against the ex-president, who is carrying out this peace-keeping mission at the request of the Union of South American Nations, along with the former heads of State Martín Torrijos (Panama) and Leonel Fernández (Dominican Republic).

What Zapatero deserves is respect and acknowledgement for carrying out this task, stresses the manifesto, which was signed, among others, by renowned members of the Spanish Workers’ Socialist Party (PSOE), the main opposition organization in the country.

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