Holy See requests suspension of Venezuela's new assembly
ROME- The Holy See calls for Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro and his government to “suspend the initiative in place for the new constitutional assembly” in a statement from the Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin. The Vatican spoke out about the developing political and social crisis in Venezuela in the statement on Friday.
The new assembly, the Vatican statement read, “fuels a climate of tension and confrontation and presupposes the future instead of fostering reconciliation and peace.” The Vatican wishes for “full respect for human rights and fundamental liberties to be assured” and therefore calls for suspension of Maduro’s new powerful constitutional assembly. The Holy See expressed their “profound anxiety over the radicalisation and deterioration of the Venezuelan crisis, with the number of dead, injured and detained persons increasing” as well as the “population’s severe suffering over the struggle to find food and medicine and the lack of safety.”
The Cardinal Secretary of State confirmed that Pope Francis “is following the situation closely and its humanitarian, social, political, economic and even spiritual consequences and assures the country and Venezuelans that they are always in his prayers.”
The Holy See also addressed police violence in a “heartfelt appeal to the whole society to steer clear of any form of violence, in particular to the security forces to abstain from excessive or disproportionate use of force.”
Venezuelan President Maduro promised to seat a new constituent assembly on Friday to rewrite the country’s constitution and give itself ultimate power over any other government branch. The President declared that the assembly will remove the constitutional immunity of the opposition from prosecution and members of congress have said the measure will ensure their incontestable power. “The only way they’ll get us out of here is by killing us,” said the National Assembly’s first vice president Freddy Guevara.
The legislature has triggered bloody protests and clashes throughout July, yet Maduro vows to follow through on the proposal. Food shortages and economic hardship are worsening whilst inflation continues to rise at an alarming rate, around 600 percent on Friday.