Procedure : 2018/2891(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0504/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0504/2018

Debates :

Votes :

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

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0436

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 263kWORD 47k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0351/2018
22.10.2018
PE624.200v01-00
 
B8-0504/2018

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))


Charles Tannock, Raffaele Fitto, Karol Karski, Jana Žitňanská, Ruža Tomašić, Monica Macovei, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Pirkko Ruohonen‑Lerner, Angel Dzhambazki, Jan Zahradil, Valdemar Tomaševski, Jadwiga Wiśniewska, Branislav Škripek on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela (2018/2891(RSP))  
B8‑0504/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 8 February 2018 on the situation in Venezuela(1), of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela(2) and of 5 July 2018 on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil(3),

–  having regard to the declaration of 19 April 2018 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statements by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 9 August 2018 on the latest events in Venezuela and of 9 October 2018 on the death of municipal councillor Fernando Albán,

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

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

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Venezuela is a party,

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

–  having regard to the statement of 8 February 2018 by the Prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, on opening preliminary examinations into the situations in the Philippines and in Venezuela, and of 27 September 2018 on the referral by a group of six States Parties regarding the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the Constitution of Venezuela,

–  having regard to its decision to award the 2017 Sakharov Prize to the democratic opposition in Venezuela,

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

A.  whereas the situation of human rights, democracy and rule of law in Venezuela continues to seriously deteriorate; whereas Venezuela is facing an unprecedented social, economic and humanitarian crisis as a result of a political one, causing a huge number of deaths and forcing millions of people to flee the country;

B.  whereas a large proportion of the population of Venezuela is affected by poverty; whereas food, medicines and other medical supplies have become increasingly scarce and the health system has been devastated; whereas maternal mortality has increased by 60 % and infant mortality by 30 % in the past year; whereas despite the readiness of the international community, the Venezuelan Government regrettably remains obstinate in its refusal to openly receive and facilitate the distribution of international humanitarian aid;

C.  whereas on 5 October 2018, Fernando Albán, an opposition municipal councillor, was arrested at the airport after returning from New York, where he had been having talks on the Venezuelan crisis and visiting his family; whereas the government claims that he was interrogated about possible involvement in the drone incident last August; whereas on 8 October, Albán was found dead on the premises of the National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), where he was held in custody; whereas the circumstances surrounding his death are highly suspicious and there have been conflicting statements about it from Venezuelan officials; whereas despite calls by the UN and the EU, the authorities have refused to allow an independent investigation into the cause of Albán’s death, including an autopsy carried out by an international and independent forensic team;

D.  whereas on 13 October 2018, the 2017 Sakharov Prize winner Lorent Saleh was released and immediately expelled to Spain in an act of forced exile; whereas he had been incarcerated without trial for four years, suffering torture; whereas his testimonies attest to cruel and inhumane treatment of political prisoners in Venezuela; whereas more than 200 political prisoners remain in jail in Venezuela;

E.  whereas on 8 February 2018, the Prosecutor of the ICC opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Venezuela; whereas on 27 September 2018, a group of six States Parties (Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru) had requested that the Prosecutor initiate an investigation into crimes against humanity committed within the territory of Venezuela; whereas France and Costa Rica also backed calls for such investigations; whereas this constituted the first ever referral submitted by a group of States Parties concerning a situation on the territory of another State Party;

F.  whereas on 13 November 2017, the Council decided to adopt an arms embargo against Venezuela and a ban on related material that might be used for internal repression; whereas on 22 January 2018 the Council decided, by unanimity, to impose sanctions against seven Venezuelan individuals holding official positions, in the form of restrictive measures such as travel bans and asset freezes, in response to non-compliance with democratic principles; whereas on 25 June 2018 the sanctions were extended to 11 more Venezuelan officials;

G.  whereas the meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on 15 October 2018 included discussions on a political solution to the current crisis, by exploring the possibility of establishing a contact group to facilitate a political process;

1.  Expresses profound concern at the ongoing deterioration in fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Venezuela; condemns the use of arbitrary detention and judicial and administrative harassment to persecute thousands of human rights defenders, elected members of the opposition and independent civil society organisations, which is further undermining the democratic structure of Venezuela;

2.  Is deeply concerned at the dire humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the systemic shortages of key basic supplies, medicines and food; is particularly concerned at the increase in child malnutrition since 2017;

3.  Expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Fernando Albán; calls for a thorough and independent investigation to clarify the circumstances of his tragic death, including an autopsy to be carried out by an international and independent forensic team;

4.  Urges the Venezuelan authorities to ensure the protection of all civilians from any form of intimidation, defamation charges, threats or physical attacks, and to take effective measures for the protection of those exercising their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly;

5.  Reiterates its previous calls to ensure the safety and physical integrity of all people in custody and for the immediate and unconditional release of all arbitrarily detained persons, including all political prisoners, and for greater respect for democratically elected bodies and the upholding of human rights;

6.  Calls on the Venezuelan authorities to acknowledge the ongoing crisis, to prevent its further deterioration, and to promote political and economic solutions to ensure the safety of all civilians and stability for the country and the region;

7.  Calls for the EU, namely the Council and the VP/HR, to ensure that any further steps towards a political solution must include the following irrevocable demands: the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to the torture, ill-treatment and harassment of political opponents and human rights activists; a new independent National Electoral Council elected by the National Assembly; the holding of free and fair elections in compliance with international standards for a credible process respecting political pluralism, with the presence of democratic international observers; recognition of the power of the legitimate National Assembly; and the dissolution of the Constituent National Assembly;

8.  Fully supports the ICC’s investigation into the extensive crimes and acts of repression perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime; urges the EU to join the initiative of the ICC States Parties to investigate crimes against humanity committed by the Venezuelan Government within the territory of Venezuela with a view to holding those responsible to account;

9.  Welcomes the EU’s swift imposition of additional targeted and reversible sanctions, which will cause no harm to the Venezuelan population, for the holding of elections on 20 May 2018 that were illegitimate and not internationally recognised; calls for these sanctions to be strengthened if the situation of human rights and democracy in the country continues to deteriorate;

10.  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)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0041.

(2)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0199.

(3)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0313.

Last updated: 24 October 2018Legal notice