CARACAS, Venezuela, FEB. 19, 2008 ( Cardinal Jorge Urosa, archbishop of Caracas, asked for an end to escalating political violence, after a wave of incidents reported in various regions of the country.

Among the incidents, most notably concerning to the cardinal was a bomb detonated last Thursday at the offices of the apostolic nunciature. The building was also vandalized with political graffiti.

The day before, another small bomb was set off near a statute of George Washington, in a plaza on the western side of the Venezuelan capital. Looting was reported in Barinas, the hometown of President Hugo Chávez. And political clashes occurred in San Casimiro.

"We cannot continue with this escalation of political violence," the cardinal told Unión Radio. "This must stop and that is the appeal I make to the authorities as the archbishop of Caracas."

Venezuelans, he said, "should understand each other and authorities are called to have an attitude of dialogue and understanding, and not permit that an atmosphere of political violence be created."


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