Pope Francis on Monday, October 24, was invited to a private audience at the Vatican and met with President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, reports La Stampa.

The publication cites the press service of the Vatican, which States that the meeting took place “against the backdrop of the alarming situation of political, economic and social crisis” in Venezuela, which has a serious impact on the daily lives of the entire population.

It is noted that the Pontiff urged the President to boldly embark upon “a sincere and constructive dialogue” between representatives of different political forces in the country to alleviate the suffering of people and contribute to the cohesion of citizens.

In June 2015, the President of Venezuela because of illness, refused to travel to Rome, where he was to participate in the conference of the Food and agriculture organization of the UN (FAO) and to meet with Pope Francis. As reported by Maduro himself, the visit did not take place, as he was diagnosed with the flu and a severe ear infection. Doctors had banned the leader of the state to fly the plane.

In July of the same year the Pope went on a visit to Latin America, sent a telegram to Maduro, flying over Venezuela. In the message, the Pontiff expressed his love for the Venezuelan people and asked the Lord to bring people to the solidarity and peaceful life.

According to the Russian service of the BBC, the leaders of the Venezuelan opposition met with representatives of the Vatican in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. As reported by the Vatican Ambassador in Argentina, the Venezuelan government and the opposition agreed to start negotiations on overcoming the crisis, October 30.

Nicolas Maduro arrived in Vatican after tour of the Middle East, during which he tried to find allies among the countries – exporters of oil.

Meanwhile, the human rights organization Human Rights Watch has accused the Venezuelan government of ignoring the humanitarian crisis in the country and of a lack of effort to fill the acute shortage of food and medicines.

On Sunday, the Venezuelan Parliament for an emergency session, declared the coup the actions of Maduro, who actually blocked the holding of a referendum on impeachment. In the resolution adopted by the deputies, was also declared a violation of the constitutional order and the decision on initiating the procedure of impeaching the President.

In addition, the deputies plan to submit the state to the international criminal court for the suspension of the referendum over the resignation of the President, the appointment of five members of the National electoral Council (CNE) and the selection of new members of the Supreme court.

Last week, the national electoral Council announced that the second phase of training for a national vote on the issue of early termination of powers of the head of state has been postponed indefinitely. A new stage of collecting signatures was to be held from 26 to 28 October. The decision was due to the fact that a number of regional courts invalidated the opposition collected signatures.

Pope receives President of Venezuela in Vatican 25.10.2016

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