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 Full text 
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 - Brussels Revised edition

Situation in Venezuela (debate)

  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, with Venezuelan inflation at a staggering 10 million percent, with three million people having fled the country and the security forces under Maduro’s direction employing ever more authoritarian tactics, the recent developments can hardly come as a surprise.

I strongly welcome the decision of Juan Guaidó to declare himself interim President and I welcome the recognition that this has received from democratic governments across the globe. The EU’s turn is next. The presidential elections held in May of last year have been wholly discredited, marked by a distinct lack of political pluralism, democracy, transparency and the rule of law, as was highlighted by the High Representative at that time. Such is the strength of opinion across the region that the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, has gone further, openly accusing Maduro of perpetrating crimes against humanity and the violation of fundamental human rights, noting that, whilst diplomatic actions should be the first priority, we shouldn’t rule out any action. Diplomatic efforts and dialogue sadly have clearly failed and the recognition of Guaidó is the first step in moving to a more assertive set of actions by international actors.

I now welcome the decision of the Bank of England in my country to prevent Venezuela from accessing USD 1.2 billion in reserves held there. I think that the EU should consider mirroring the actions of the US in sanctioning its oil companies, which are being employed by Maduro to buy support from the armed forces. Clearly Venezuela finds itself at a difficult moment and nothing that we must do now must result in an escalation of violence or a military intervention.

Last updated: 17 May 2019Legal notice