Venezuelan crisis: MEPs reaffirm their support for Juan Guaidó | EU Parliament Press

The European Parliament condemns the recent attempted coup to prevent Juan Guaidó from being re-elected President of the Venezuelan National Assembly.

In a resolution adopted on Wednesday, the European Parliament strongly condemns the attempt by Nicolas Maduro’s regime to install pro-government candidate Luis Parra as new Chairman of the Venezuelan National Assembly on 5 January of this year.

The previous Speaker Juan Guaidó, who is currently recognised as Venezuela’s legitimate interim President by over 50 countries and the European Parliament, was prevented from chairing the opening session by armed forces. Several opposition parliamentarians were also prevented from entering the National Assembly on the same day.

Mr Guaidó has since been sworn in as re-elected President of the legislature, despite further attempts by groups loyal to the Maduro regime to prevent this from happening.

Strong support for Juan Guaidó

In the resolution, the European Parliament reaffirms their support for Juan Guaidó as the legitimate President of the National Assembly and interim President of Venezuela. MEPs deplore the recent grave violations, which are incompatible with legitimate election processes. The National Assembly of Venezuela is the only legitimately elected democratic body in the country, and its powers need to be respected, says the text.

The European Parliament also recalls that the EU stands ready to support a genuine process towards a peaceful and democratic solution to the Venezuelan political crisis. The resolution calls on EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell to step up the European Union’s response to restore democracy in the country, including through targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for human rights violations, but also by extending these sanctions to their family members.

It further requests that a fact-finding mission be dispatched to the country to assess the situation on the ground.

The text was adopted by 471 votes to 101, with 103 abstentions.

Background

A year ago, Mr Guaidó, in his capacity as parliamentary speaker at the time, declared himself Venezuela’s interim President after disputing the 2018 re-election of incumbent authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro. The country has been in political turmoil ever since. The European Union, including 25 member states, also considers Mr Guaidó to be the current legitimate leader of Venezuela.