Procedure : 2018/2891(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0506/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0506/2018

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 280kWORD 58k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0351/2018
22.10.2018
PE624.202v01-00
 
B8-0506/2018

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))


Dita Charanzová, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Javier Nart, Petras Auštrevičius, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Martina Dlabajová, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Marian Harkin, Nadja Hirsch, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Patricia Lalonde, Louis Michel, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic, Pavel Telička, Ivo Vajgl, Hilde Vautmans, Cecilia Wikström on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela (2018/2891(RSP))  
B8‑0506/2018

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on 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 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 8 February 2018 by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, 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 Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 15 October 2018,

–  having regard to the Declaration of Quito on human mobility of Venezuelan citizens in the region of 4 September 2018,

–  having regard to the appointment on 19 September 2018 of Mr Eduardo Stein as IOM and UNHCR Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region,

–  having regard to the joint statement of 28 April 2017 by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention,

–  having regard to the G7 Leaders’ statement of 23 May 2018,

–  having regard to the declarations of the Lima Group of 23 January 2018, 14 February 2018, 21 May 2018, 2 June 2018 and 15 June 2018,

–  having regard to the declaration of 20 April 2018 by the Organisation of American States (OAS) on the worsening humanitarian situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 9 October 2018 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the death of municipal councillor Fernando Albán in Venezuela,

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

–  having regard to the report of its mission focused on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil,

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

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

A.  whereas the situation of human rights, democracy and the 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 around 2.3 million migrants and refugees;

B.  whereas 87 % of the population of Venezuela is affected by poverty, with the level of extreme poverty standing at 61.2 %; whereas maternal mortality has increased by 60 % and infant mortality by 30 %; whereas 89 % of Venezuelans have reported that they do not have the money to buy enough food for their families;

C.  whereas mismanagement and erratic partisan economic decisions in Venezuela have led to its fifth year of economic recession, and its real GDP is expected to shrink by 18 % in 2018, following a 14 % decline in 2017; whereas Venezuela is currently the only country in the world experiencing hyperinflation, with inflation forecast at 1.4 million % for this year according to the International Monetary Fund, and at 10 million % in 2019; whereas prices have risen by 65 000 % in a year;

D.  whereas the Venezuelan Government has made no serious attempt to address the alarming and widespread humanitarian crisis, thus neglecting the responsibility it has towards its own citizens to protect and provide for its people; 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 to its population, which is in desperate need of this;

E.  whereas on 8 October 2018 the Venezuelan opposition politician Fernando Albán was allegedly tortured and murdered on the premises of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), the Venezuelan political police; whereas despite calls from the UN and the EU, the authorities have refused to allow an independent investigation into the causes of his death, including an international autopsy carried out by an independent forensic team; whereas Mr Albán was in custody on the premises of SEBIN; whereas the Venezuelan authorities are therefore to be held accountable for his whereabouts;

F.  whereas on 13 October 2018, 2017 Sakharov Prize laureate Lorent Saleh was released, driven directly to the airport and immediately expelled to Spain in an act of forced exile; whereas he had been in prison for 4 years, being subjected to brutal torture, without a trial or a preliminary audience, which should have taken place within a maximum of 45 days after presentation of the case to the courts, but which was deferred at least 53 times; whereas his testimonies, along with those of thousands of other victims, including those presented in cases filed before the International Criminal Court (ICC), confirm cruel and inhumane treatment of political prisoners in Venezuela and systematic repression by the Venezuelan authorities;

G.  whereas there are currently more than three hundred political prisoners being held in Venezuela; whereas the Member of the National Assembly Juan Requesens was arbitrarily arrested and subjected to torture, and remains incommunicado, in permanent and illegal violation of his political immunity;

H.  whereas the former President of the National Assembly and 2017 Sakharov Prize laureate Mr Julio Borges was unfoundedly accused of plotting to kill the President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro; whereas the Venezuelan authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him through Interpol;

I.  whereas there is a climate of widespread violence and total impunity in Venezuela, owing in large part to the authorities’ failure to hold to account perpetrators of serious human rights violations, including murder, the use of excessive force against demonstrators, arbitrary detention, torture, and other degrading and inhuman treatment, but also criminal violence;

J.  whereas the precarious conditions of Venezuelan migrants and refugees generate additional costs for receiving countries, which has generated an unprecedented crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean;

K.  whereas on 8 February 2018 the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Venezuela, supported by claims received by NGOs and individuals; whereas on 27 September 2018 a group of six State Parties to the ICC (Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru) requested that the Prosecutor initiate an investigation into crimes against humanity committed in the territory of Venezuela, based on the report by the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; whereas France and Costa Rica also later joined this call; whereas this constituted the first ever referral submitted by a group of States Parties concerning a situation on the territory of another State Party; whereas the European Parliament has made this same call on two occasions, in its resolution of 8 February 2018 on the situation in Venezuela and its resolution of 13 September 2017 on EU political relations with Latin America; whereas no long-lasting peaceful solution or reconciliation can occur without justice;

L.  whereas at the United Nations World Summit held in September 2005, all Member States officially accepted the responsibility of each state to protect its population from crimes against humanity; whereas the Member States agreed that when a State does not fulfil this responsibility, the international community has a duty to help protect the population threatened by these crimes;

M.  whereas on 13 November 2017, the Council decided to adopt an arms embargo against Venezuela and a ban on related material that could be used for internal repression; whereas on 22 January 2018 it 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; whereas while the accounts of these individuals have been frozen, those of their spouses and other close family members remain accessible;

N.  whereas the EU, together with other democratic bodies, recognised neither the presidential nor the Constituent National Assembly elections, nor the authorities put in place by these illegitimate processes;

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

P.  whereas two attempts to build a national dialogue between the government and the opposition, facilitated by the Vatican and international mediators with a view to finding a way out of the crisis, failed on account of the lack of seriousness of the Venezuelan authorities, who made no concessions throughout the talks and focused exclusively on trying to gain time and international recognition;

1.  Expresses its sincere condolences to Fernando Albán’s family and friends; condemns, in this regard, the crimes committed by the Venezuelan authorities and calls for an immediate independent investigation into the government, including an international autopsy carried out by an independent forensic team;

2.  Recalls that two previous attempts aimed at reaching a political solution to the crisis in Venezuela through mediation with the Vatican and through national political dialogue which took place in the Dominican Republic have clearly failed; recalls, in this regard, that the role of international mediation or a contact facilitator group must be unbiased and be accepted by both sides;

3.  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 repression, torture, ill-treatment and harassment of political opponents, human rights activists and peaceful protesters; 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;

4.  Reiterates its full support for the opening of an investigation by the ICC into the extensive crimes that are being preliminarily examined by said Court, perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime within the framework of systematic repression exercised by the state against its own citizens; urges the EU as a whole, and its Member States, to join the call made by the governments of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, France and Costa Rica to report the Venezuelan Government to the ICC, in order for it to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by officials from the Venezuelan regime and to determine accountability for these crimes;

5.  Reiterates the call of June 2018 of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the member states of the Human Rights Council to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and to deepen the involvement of the ICC;

6.  Reminds the Venezuelan Government of its responsibility to protect its own population from, among other things, crimes against humanity; further reminds the EU and the international community, through the UN, of the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ the Venezuelan population against crimes against humanity committed by the state; recalls that this is a collective commitment agreed by the UN member states to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe with greater consequences; calls on the international community to evaluate all diplomatic, humanitarian and peaceful options, in a coordinated manner and within the framework of the UN, in order to give effect to the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’;

7.  Welcomes the EU’s 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; stresses that the extension of the sanctions list to other members of the Venezuelan authorities and their family members should be promptly explored; requests that the Council consider imposing sanctions on Venezuelan oil, including dealings with the state-owned company PDVSA;

8.  Reiterates its support for the work carried out by the Secretary-General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, in favour of democracy and human rights in Venezuela, as well as the efforts of the Lima Group to achieve a democratic solution to the current political and humanitarian crisis;

9.  Commends Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and other countries in the region, regional and international organisations, private and public entities, the Catholic Church and ordinary citizens in the region as a whole for their help and solidarity vis-à-vis Venezuelan migrants and refugees; reminds the EU institutions and the Member States of their duty to protect those awarded the Sakharov Prize and recognise their role as key actors in the current context, which is legitimised by their democratic commitment and the values for which they received the award;

10.  Calls on the Member States to provide immediate protection-oriented responses to Venezuelan refugees or migrants on their territory, such as humanitarian visas, special stay arrangements or other regional migratory frameworks, with the relevant protection safeguards; calls once again, however, on the Venezuelan authorities to facilitate and speed up the issuance and renewal of identification documents to their own nationals, whether in Venezuela or abroad;

11.  Reiterates the very worrying findings of its mission of June 2018 to the terrestrial borders of Colombia and Brazil with Venezuela; reiterates its call on the Venezuelan authorities, as a matter of urgency, to allow unimpeded humanitarian aid into the country in order to prevent the aggravation of the humanitarian and public health crises;

12.  Warmly welcomes the recent appointment, on 19 September 2018, of Eduardo Stein as IOM and UNHCR Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region, noting that the appointment reflects the recognition of the regional and global dimensions of the migratory crisis; calls on the Council and the VP/HR to mobilise more funds and assistance in coordination with the Joint Special Representative;

13.  Recalls that Interpol is the international police organisation devoted chiefly to fighting international crime; calls on Interpol not to address the Venezuelan Government’s requests against Mr Borges, Ms Ortega Diaz and Mr Mundaray Rodriguez, given that the accusations are completely unfounded and purely politically motivated;

14.  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 governments and parliaments of the Republic of Colombia, the Republic of Brazil, the Republic of Peru and the Republic of Ecuador, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States and the Lima Group.

 

(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