Venezuela Violence Continues as Regime, Opposition Leaders Refuse to Talk

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter plans trip to Caracas in attempt to mediate between the two sides.
3:00 | 02/26/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Venezuela Violence Continues as Regime, Opposition Leaders Refuse to Talk
This is a special room. I'm Michelle Franzen a new York and this is an ABC news digital special report. The crisis in Venezuela is escalating today as pro and anti government demonstrators marched on the streets -- -- President Nicholas the -- so called peace conference was boycotted by his former election fall Enrique capriles. Who said he wouldn't engage the Chinese the leader as long as opposition leader Leopold -- -- -- so many more protesters. We're being held in jail with more now we're joined by few Asians Marianna -- CO. Who was just back from Venezuela where she spent time in the streets with protesters. And police -- thank you for joining us. Reports today that former US president Jimmy Carter will head to Caracas in an effort to work as a mediator. Between the regime of protesters. Not going to be -- first trip to that in that capacity. -- -- the last trip go. -- -- president Jimmy Carter former US president Jimmy Carter said he was planning a trip to Venezuela to be a mediator between the opposition. And the -- -- governor government last time he did this was in 2004. When the charter center basically. Approved a recall referendum won by Todd is amid escalating reports of electoral fraud so as you can imagine. The opposition is not really a big fan of Jimmy Carter. -- in Venezuela also in 2004. Something that is rarely talked about but I think is very is important especially in light of the censorship that we've seen in Venezuela. Carter had a private meeting with -- is and media mogul Gustavo Cisneros who is the owner of an -- one of the main television networks. In Venezuela. That network at the time favored the opposition he was a big opposition figure but after a private meeting with Carter. The editorial line of an invasion of that big huge network changed dramatically. It really neutralize political shows were taken off the air news reports were minimized and now you see that they've essentially remained pretty much silent. As to what's going on in terms of the violins and the protesters. -- and a day after he kicked three Venezuelan diplomats out of the country the US secretary of state John Kerry said he still. Once a working relationship with in the -- of government is that even possible when it seems they are content blaming most of the country's woes on the west's. I think it is possible because the mother -- has also shown interest in restoring his image. In the United States and internationally in fact yesterday mother -- are nominated Maximilian scientist. As the new ambassador to Washington to try to kick start the relationship between. The two countries the two countries have been without ambassadors since 2008. Three diplomats from Venezuela were expelled from the United States. Recently. That response to the American diplomats and that -- to -- expelled. Saying that they had been meeting with protesters. And organizing them against him. And another viola. Death drawing attention to the country the former boxing champion -- -- -- -- -- -- was kidnapped from Caracas and killed. The Pope but native of Argentina has weighed in now -- he hopes quote violence and hostility will -- as soon as possible. What does the Vatican's relationship with Venezuela and more specifically president Nicholas Missouri. The Catholic church and the Vatican have had a very rocky relationship with the child -- government and now. That -- -- government really even have my little met with the Pope. He still -- battled with the Catholic Church in Venezuela he was really the Venezuelan episcopal conference who expressed concerns to the Vatican. At the violence that's going on in Venezuela and the way protesters are being treated by the National Guard. And that is when really the Pope reacted. In Venezuela even religion is is politicized. And and polarized. -- Catholic Church has traditionally sided with the opposition. And -- -- Travis and his days favored more -- that he gets high priest more so than Catholic priest. Also very notorious case. About six days ago a Catholic priest. Known as whose name is we'll -- by -- was beaten. Almost to death by pro government forces in the state of -- so it's most. Those really grave incidents that have created a lot of tension. Between the Catholic Church the Vatican. And the federal government also into the get up -- as the opposition figure. Has called out for the church to be read in mediator in this whole situation and met privately with the Pope on November 6 of last year. So that has also. A strengthen the ties between. The current opposition. And the Vatican and of course the Pope from Argentina Argentina's president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was one of the last heads of state. To see Hugo Chavez alive visiting with him in Cuba soon before he died. How strong is that country's ties to -- each of these to government. The ties between Venezuela and Argentina are very strong financially and ideologically rhetorically if you will. For example in 2008. Trade between the two countries amounted to one point four billion dollars. I've been on several reporting trips to Argentina and I was there -- when president Kitchener. Was praying for what -- -- health. And I could draw a parallel listens between what's going on with the Chinese that movement in -- -- And the Fisher movement in Argentina they're very much aligned to rhetorically especially in terms of the anti American. Rhetoric and their treatment of the private media. Samara on of the protests began as a response to unchecked violence in the course of sour sour economy that really escalated when the government. Told students they could not protest you were there last week. What -- the demonstrators want now and at what sort of numbers are we talking about in terms of protesters. Last Saturday in Venezuela the marching cut back as the capital amounted to walk around a million people so those -- the types of numbers. We're talking about when big rallies. Are called for art today it was such an example it was a women's smarts that have really big numbers as well. But then knock off days -- see small groups of students twenty -- ends in one neighborhood when Eastwood is in another neighborhood. Twenty students in another city far away from the capitol protest staying. Basically the -- the opposition is calling for an end to -- The you know -- increasing crime rate and also an end to the enormous product shortages and -- the worsening economy. And ultimately they're calling for -- -- exceed the problem is though is that if they don't make their their platform. Be greater than just you know mother -- -- -- exit or last that he as they've called it. They're not going to be successful. -- really attracting. That Chinese -- that were part of the population he told us a little bit about some of the demonstrators along those lines you tell us more about the protesters the government calls them fascist puppet of western imperialists. Does that match up with what you -- seeing out there on the streets. What I saw on the street was housewives. School teachers professionals. People from the working class. Business owners -- -- testing this these are protests comprised mostly right now of the middle class. And the students -- actually interviewed. Many student leaders down in Venezuela and they -- all bewildered at mud -- calling then you know fascists and backed by the US. One of the student leaders even -- to meet -- and a I don't even have a US passport I don't even have of these I've never even been -- the United States. And yet my president telling me that I'm being backed. And financed by the united season. You know with all that said of course the opposition indeed being very vocal what do they need to do now to mobilize. Against the -- government and is there any chance of that. As I touched upon before they really need to include. The broader population the -- sectors of the population because right now the protests are taking place. -- very confined. Opposition controlled areas. The problem is is that the protest can't really extend to the core area. Because that's not least our the government governors in those areas haven't allowed for the protest to march. Intent and also something important not to take not that not many people are talking about here in the US. Are these problem government armed militia groups that -- has created. Years ago that they didn't want to sort of like it and neighborhood did you Montes and the poor areas of Aventis -- -- called collective -- -- -- -- -- And they've really sort of threatened any sort of protest to begin in these poor areas. I spoke with many people on the ground -- in -- he spent four areas and they said you know -- and I want to protest I want a bank might pot and might pan. Because I'm dismayed at what's going on with the government but I'm intimidated to do so because the minute that I start. Protesting they're going to be knocking on my doorways with long guns -- he -- he's sort of protect these that vigilante groups that are impeding the protests from really. Becoming larger. Fusion is Marianna attempts yet thank you for join -- us. And of course we'll have more updates and for the latest from across Venezuela and the global reaction stay right here on abcnews.com. And you can also visit fusion dot net for all of -- on his reporting from around the country. This has been an ABC news digital special report I'm Michelle Franzen and New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":22688909,"title":"Venezuela Violence Continues as Regime, Opposition Leaders Refuse to Talk","duration":"3:00","description":"Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter plans trip to Caracas in attempt to mediate between the two sides.","section":"International","mediaType":"Default"}