Venezuela: MEPs call for free and fair elections in the crisis-torn country

  • MEPs urge Venezuelan authorities to prevent further deterioration of the crisis 
  • MEPs strongly denounce Nicolás Maduro’s threats to expel the EU ambassador  
  • All EU countries must comply with EU sanctions against Venezuelan officials 

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, the European Parliament reiterates its deep concern at the severity of the humanitarian emergency in Venezuela.

In the text, adopted by 487 votes in favour, 119 against with 79 abstentions, MEPs call for urgent action to prevent the humanitarian and public health crisis in Venezuela, which has already been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, from getting any worse.

They urge the Venezuelan authorities to acknowledge the ongoing humanitarian crisis, prevent it from deteriorating any further, and to promote political and economic solutions, for the benefit of the country’s citizens.

The European Parliament also welcomes the pledges and efforts made by the International Donors Conference in solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants. The conference was held on 26 May and gathered EUR 2.544 billion in commitments (EUR 595 million in direct grants). To ensure the pledges reach those who are in desperate need as soon as possible, MEPs insist that bureaucracy should be reduced and simplified.

Political unrest continues

On top of hyperinflation, the migration crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic riddling Venezuela, there is deepening political instability. MEPs reiterate their full support for Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate interim President and for the National Assembly as the only legitimately elected democratic political body.

They strongly reject all attacks on democratically elected representatives and opposition parties, and insist that a peaceful political solution can only be reached in Venezuela if the National Assembly’s constitutional prerogatives are fully respected.

Finally, the European Parliament calls for conditions to be created that would lead to free, transparent and credible presidential and legislative elections. It strongly regrets the threats made by Venezuela’s authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro to expel the EU ambassador from Caracas, due to new EU sanctions announced against eleven Venezuelan officials, even though the recent decision by the regime to do so was eventually reversed.

Sanctions must be upheld

Regarding sanctions, Parliament reminds all EU countries that they must comply with the 2017/2074 Council Decision, “notably the prevention of the entry into, or transit through, their territories of the persons to whom the restrictive measures apply”, and notify the Council of any exemptions.

For further details, the full resolution will be available here (09.07.2020). Besides taking stock of recent developments, the text intends to summarise the main messages in the plenary debate held on 18 December last year.