Procedure : 2018/2891(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0502/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0502/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 25/10/2018 - 13.20
CRE 25/10/2018 - 13.20

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 175kWORD 54k
22.10.2018
PE624.198v01-00
 
B8-0502/2018

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the situation in Venezuela (2018/2891(RSP))


Elena Valenciano, Francisco Assis, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo on behalf of the S&D Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela (2018/2891(RSP))  
B8‑0502/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Venezuela, in particular those of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Venezuela(1), of 18 December 2014 on the persecution of the democratic opposition in Venezuela(2), of 12 March 2015 on the situation in Venezuela(3), of 8 June 2016 on the situation in Venezuela(4), of 27 April 2017 on the situation in Venezuela(5), of 8 February 2018 on the situation in Venezuela(6), of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela(7), and of 5 July 2018 on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil(8),

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the Inter-American Democratic Charter adopted on 11 September 2001,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

–  having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

–  having regard to the statement of 1 October 2018 by UN experts on the health system crisis in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 28 May 2018 on Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 9 August 2018 by the Spokesperson of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the latest events in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 9 October 2018 by the Spokesperson of the VP/HR on the death of municipal councillor Fernando Albán in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the Joint Communiqué of 15 September 2018 by the Lima Group on Venezuela,

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council resolution of 27 September 2018 on the promotion and protection of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 10 October 2018 by the Chairs of its Subcommittee on Human Rights and its Committee on Foreign Affairs on the death of Fernando Albán,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Venezuelan Government launched an economic plan on 20 August 2018 which included the introduction of a new currency, a major currency devaluation, an increase in fuel prices to international price levels, and a 5 900 % increase in the minimum wage; whereas these recent economic measures have exacerbated the freefall of the economy and are having a devastating impact on SMEs;

B.  whereas the economic and social situation is also continuing to deteriorate in Venezuela owing to the impact of the international sanctions; whereas according to the Venezuelan Government, Euroclear has frozen public assets up to EUR 1.2 billion following the imposition of international financial sanctions; whereas these funds were earmarked for buying medicines and foodstuffs for the country, which is suffering from a 90 % shortage in medicines, frequent electricity blackouts and the collapse of public services;

C.  whereas on 8 February 2018 the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced the launch of a preliminary investigation into alleged crimes committed in Venezuela since April 2017; whereas it has been alleged that state security forces frequently used excessive force to disperse and put down demonstrations, and arrested and detained thousands of actual or perceived members of the opposition, a number of whom have allegedly been subjected to serious abuse and ill-treatment in detention; whereas it has also been reported that some groups of protesters resorted to violent means, resulting in some members of the security forces being injured or killed;

D.  whereas on 27 September 2018, a group of States Parties to the ICC, namely the Argentine Republic, Canada, the Republic of Colombia, the Republic of Chile, the Republic of Paraguay and the Republic of Peru, referred the case of the situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC; whereas pursuant to Article 14 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the referring States have requested that the Prosecutor initiate an investigation into crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the territory of Venezuela since 12 February 2014, with a view to determining whether one or more persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes;

E.  whereas on 28 May 2018 the Council adopted conclusions on Venezuela calling for the holding of fresh presidential elections in accordance with recognised democratic standards and the Venezuelan constitutional order; whereas on 25 June 2018, the European Council extended the list of restrictive measures to a total of 18 Venezuelan individuals holding official positions, who are responsible for human rights violations and for undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela; whereas these measures include a travel ban and an asset freeze;

F.  whereas on 4 August 2018 President Maduro was the victim of a drone attack while he was speaking at an event to mark the 81st anniversary of the national army; whereas the EU and its Member States ‘[reject] any form of violence and [expect] that a comprehensive and transparent investigation of [the] drone attack [be] conducted to establish the facts, in full respect for the rule of law and for human rights’;

G.  whereas following the drone attack, Juan Requesens, a member of the National Assembly, and Fernando Albán, an opposition municipal council member, were detained by the Venezuelan intelligence service (SEBIN); whereas Fernando Albán died on 8 October 2018 while in the custody of SEBIN; whereas the international community, including the European External Action Service and the European Parliament, have asked for a thorough and independent investigation to clarify the circumstances of his death;

H.  whereas according to Foro Penal there are currently 183 political prisoners in the country; whereas Lorent Saleh, a student leader detained since 2014 who was part of the democratic Venezuelan opposition and among those awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2017, was released by the Venezuelan Government on 12 October 2018 and allowed to travel to Spain for medical treatment;

I.  whereas the National Electoral Council (CNE) has set 9 December 2018 as the date for the election of the country’s municipal councils; whereas the CNE announced that 37 political parties would be allowed to compete in this election: 21 national parties, including five new ones; 11 regional parties; and five indigenous parties; whereas the biggest political parties, Acción Democrática (AD), Primero Justicia (PJ), Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) and Voluntad Popular, will not be allowed to participate;

J.  whereas at the most recent meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 15 October 2018, the EU and its Member States reaffirmed their strong position regarding the political crisis in Venezuela, while affirming that there can only be a democratic political solution to the country’s current crisis; whereas it was decided to explore the possibility of establishing a contact group whose objective would be to promote an initiative to be led jointly with key regional and international partners with a view to creating conditions that could lead to a political process;

1.  Points out that it has stated its position on Venezuela in eight previous resolutions during the current parliamentary term, the latest dating from 5 July 2018 on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil;

2.  Reiterates its deep concern for the repeated violations of fundamental rights and freedoms in Venezuela and expresses solidarity with all Venezuelans; urges the Venezuelan authorities to ensure that all human rights violations, including violations against civilians, are immediately halted, and that all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, are fully respected; urges the Venezuelan authorities to respect all democratically elected institutions, notably the National Assembly, to release all political prisoners and to uphold democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights;

3.  Rejects any form of violence and sends its condolences to the relatives of Fernando Albán; recalls that it is the duty of the state to ensure the safety and physical integrity of people in custody and supports the calls for a thorough and independent investigation to clarify the circumstances of Mr Albán’s death;

4.  Is deeply concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in Venezuela, which has resulted in severe shortages of food and essential medicines, and an unprecedented and increasing influx of refugees and migrants to neighbouring countries and beyond; calls for agreement to be reached immediately on a humanitarian emergency access plan for the country, and calls on the Venezuelan authorities to allow unimpeded humanitarian aid as a matter of urgency, and to grant access to international organisations wishing to assist the public; calls for the rapid implementation of a short-term response to counter malnutrition;

5.  Stresses its full respect for the independence of the ICC Prosecutor’s assessment of whether or not the Rome Statute applies for the initiation of an investigation in the case of Venezuela; recalls the EU’s commitments to multilateralism and the ICC’s role in the fight against impunity for serious crimes against humanity and in bringing the perpetrators to justice;

6.  Supports the twofold strategy of the EU towards Venezuela as set out by the VP/HR on 15 October 2018; reaffirms its position on those accountable for human rights violations and supports the initiative to launch exploratory contacts with regional and international partners to explore the possibility of establishing a contact group; recalls that the only solution to the Venezuelan crisis is a political, democratic and negotiated one;

7.  Reiterates that the holding of fresh elections is the only way to bring legitimacy back to the main institutions of the country; recalls that the international community will not accept the electoral results while opposition leaders are imprisoned and political parties banned from running; recalls its previous calls to release all political prisoners and to uphold democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights in Venezuela;

8.  Recalls that it sent a delegation to the Venezuelan terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil in May 2018 and calls for an ad hoc delegation to be sent to Peru in 2019 to assess the impact of the Venezuelan migration crisis on the ground;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.

 

(1)

OJ C 285, 29.8.2017, p. 145.

(2)

OJ C 294, 12.8.2016, p. 21.

(3)

OJ C 316, 30.8.2016, p. 190.

(4)

OJ C 86, 6.3.2018, p. 101.

(5)

OJ C 298, 23.8.2018, p. 137.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0041.

(7)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0199.

(8)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0313.

Last updated: 23 October 2018Legal notice