Pope Francis Calls for the Suspension of Venezuela Assembly

(Bloomberg) -- The Vatican has issued a statement calling for the suspension of Venezuela’s new constituent assembly, which encourages a tense and confrontational environment in the country.

In the document, the Church notes the radicalization and deterioration of the crisis in Venezuela and says the Pope is following the situation in the nation. The Vatican also calls for the respect of human rights and basic liberties, as well as for the existing constitution.

Venezuela’s President Nicholas Maduro asked the Pope to mediate the country’s political dialogue in June. The request followed the Pope’s intervention in April, calling for a negotiated solution to violence.

The Venezuelan opposition has scheduled a demonstration on Friday against the new constituent assembly, which they consider illegal. In response, the newly elected constituent assembly lawmakers will march as well, before convening at the federal legislative palace.