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12 Mar, 2024 10:35

Zelensky a ‘clown’ for badmouthing the Pope – Maduro

The Ukrainian president increasingly resembles self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido, Nicolas Maduro said
Zelensky a ‘clown’ for badmouthing the Pope – Maduro

Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky looks like a clown, a brute, and a loser when he attacks Pope Francis for urging a negotiated peace with Russia, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said during a television program on Monday.

The Latin American leader was rebuking his Ukrainian counterpart’s rejection of the Pope’s call last week for Kiev to consider making concessions for the sake of peace negotiations.

Pope Francis is a great man who has high moral authority and Zelensky is in no position to speak poorly about him, Maduro said. The Ukrainian leader’s attitude makes him similar to Juan Guaido, he added, referring to the former Venezuelan MP who attempted to usurp power in the country with US backing several years ago.

“Zelensky looks more and more like Guaido, the clown, the brute, the loser Guaido, and is as harmful for the people as Guaido was,” he said. Venezuela – and Maduro as a man of faith – supports Pope Francis’ message of peace for Ukraine, he stressed.

In an interview with the Swiss broadcaster RSI, the head of the Catholic Church was asked what he thought about people who are “calling for the courage of surrender and the white flag” in the context of the Ukraine conflict. He said that agreeing to talks in the face of defeat was not “about surrendering, but the courage of not leading the country to suicide.”

“You may be ashamed, but how many deaths will there be in the end? Negotiate in time, look for countries to mediate,” the Pope said.

Zelensky, who considers a military victory over Moscow as the only acceptable outcome for Kiev, rejected the message. Ukraine is facing “Russian evil,” he declared, and enjoys the support of priests who are “on the frontline, protecting life and humanity, supporting with prayer, conversation, and deeds.” He contrasted them with people, who are “2,500 km away somewhere, virtually mediating between someone who wants to live and someone who wants to destroy you.”

Guaido was an opposition lawmaker who accused Maduro of rigging the 2018 presidential election and declared himself acting president in January 2019. His claim to power was supported by Washington and some of its allies, but his several attempts to stage a popular uprising or military coup in Venezuela failed. Guaido currently lives in Miami, Florida, according to media reports.

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