Motion for a resolution - B8-0700/2016Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Venezuela

1.6.2016 - (2016/2699(RSP))

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

Esteban González Pons, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Antonio Tajani, Cristian Dan Preda, Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra, Gabriel Mato, Davor Ivo Stier, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Carlos Iturgaiz, Francisco José Millán Mon, Milan Zver on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0700/2016

Procedure : 2016/2699(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its numerous previous and recent 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] and of 12 March 2015 on the situation in Venezuela[3],

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

–  having regard to the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 20 October 2014 on the detention of protesters and politicians in Venezuela,

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

A.  whereas both the executive and the illegally constituted Supreme Court have been hindering the legislative powers of the recently elected National Assembly since its inauguration in December 2015;

B.  whereas, in the five months during which the new National Assembly has been legislatively active, with the democratic opposition in the majority, the Supreme Court has handed down 13 politically motivated judgments in favour of the executive, all of which imperil the balance of power required in a state governed by the rule of law;

C.  whereas decisions such as those to issue the economic emergency decree, to eliminate the powers of the National Assembly to scrutinise policy, to refuse to recognise the power conferred on the National Assembly by the constitution to revoke the appointment of Supreme Court judges, to declare the reform of the Central Bank of Venezuela Law unconstitutional, to suspend the provisions of the National Assembly’s internal debate rules and to confirm the exceptional state of economic emergency decree, among others, were taken in contravention of the legislative powers of the National Assembly, with no respect for the balance of power that is essential in a state governed by the rule of law;

D.  whereas on 29 March 2016 the National Assembly passed the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law with a view to freeing the political prisoners in the country’s various prisons, most of whom were incarcerated without standing trial or being convicted, and whereas on 11 April 2016 the Supreme Court once again declared that law unconstitutional;

E.  whereas more than 5 000 citizens have been arrested and detained over the past 10 years on ideological and political grounds during public demonstrations or the exercise of their civil rights, and whereas 84 of them are still in prison, in most cases without the necessary proceedings having taken place or their having been convicted;

F.  whereas on 4 March 2016 a massacre took place in Tumeremo, Bolívar State, where 28 miners went missing and were then murdered, with the regional and national authorities yet to give answers to their families, who are demanding justice, and whereas journalist Lucia Suárez, who had recently investigated the case, was shot dead on 28 April 2016 in her home in Tumeremo;

G.  whereas it is obvious that the Venezuelan executive has complete control over the country’s judiciary and National Electoral Council, in clear breach of the principle of independence and separation of powers that is characteristic of democratic states governed by the rule of law;

H.  whereas Venezuela’s very high crime rates and complete impunity have turned it into one of the most dangerous countries in the world, Caracas having the highest rate of violent crime in the world, with over 119.87 homicides per 100 000 people;

I.  whereas intolerable levels of corruption and mismanagement of public funds, a lack of foresight in respect of basic infrastructure, and completely inefficient governance have led to a major economic and social crisis, as demonstrated by a long‑running shortage of resources, raw materials, inputs, basic foodstuffs and essential medicines, with zero production, and whereas the country is on the verge of major social upheaval which could lead to a humanitarian crisis with unpredictable consequences;

J.  whereas the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights takes the view that Decree No 2294 of 6 April 2016, issued by Nicolás Maduro, which provides that public sector workers around the country will not work on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays for as long as the effects of El Niño on the Simón Bolívar Hydroelectric Plant persist, constitutes a serious breach of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Venezuela is a signatory, and whereas any state that temporarily or completely closes a university or other educational institution on grounds such as national security or the preservation of public order, political tension or any other reason not in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has the burden of justifying such a serious measure in relation to each one of the elements identified in the human rights standards;

K.  whereas a state deciding to temporary or totally suspend teaching activities at a university or any other learning institution on grounds of national security or public order, political tension or any other reason not covered by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has an obligation to duly justify such measures;

L.  whereas the Venezuelan Government has a particular responsibility to respect the rule of law, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council since 16 October 2014;

M.  whereas the democratic opposition has started a constitutionally recognised process that enables public officials to be removed from office after having completed 50% of their term, and has collected and delivered to the National Electoral Council 1.8 million signatures, many more than the 198 000 initially required for the process to be legal and constitutionally accepted;

1.  Expresses grave concern at the seriously deteriorating situation as regards democracy and human rights in Venezuela;

2.  Strongly condemns the use of state powers, in particular those of the National Electoral Council and the judiciary, to distort and disregard decisions lawfully taken by the legislature in the form of the National Assembly, thereby undermining the will of the Venezuelan people as expressed on 6 December 2015;

3.  Calls on the Venezuelan Government to respect the rule of law and the principle of separation of powers, which are characteristic of democracies, where compliance with, and the primacy of, the principle of the separation of state powers is vital for their proper functioning;

4.  Urges the Venezuelan Government to act within the limitations of a democracy, granting full freedom to political prisoners who have been arbitrarily arrested, with a view to starting a national reconciliation process based on dialogue, which will enable the application of the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law as a first step;

5.  Requests that the authorities respect and guarantee the constitutional right to peaceful demonstrations; rejects repression, the excessive use of force and arbitrary detentions by state security officers to repress the legitimate claims of the democratic opposition;

6.  Considers it an absolute priority to reduce the existing high levels of impunity, which increase and foster the growing violence and insecurity in the country, and to ensure respect for the existing legal system, which demands justice for the victims of kidnappings, murders and other crimes committed every day, and for their families;

7.  Demands that the Venezuelan authorities investigate the massacre in Tumeremo, where 28 miners were despicably murdered, with a view to bringing the perpetrators and instigators to justice; calls, further, for the setting-up of an independent international commission of inquiry to establish the circumstances of those killings, including the recent murder of journalist Lucia Suárez, which took place in the same location and is suspected of being connected;

8.  Calls on the Venezuelan authorities to guarantee security and the free exercise of rights for all citizens, in particular human rights defenders, journalists, political activists and members of independent non-governmental organisations;

9.  Urges the Government of Venezuela and the public authorities to comply with the constitution and to facilitate rather than obstruct the recognised legal mechanisms and procedures for activating the electoral process for impeaching the president laid down in the Venezuelan Constitution, before the end of 2016;

10.  Urges the Venezuelan Government to regularise working and school hours in order to bring the country to a situation of normality and respect for social and labour rights and the universal right to education;

11.  Expresses great concern that the increasing social tension caused by the shortage of basic goods such as food and medicines is sparking violence and social unrest, and calls on all sectors of Venezuelan society to exercise moderation so that the country’s current critical situation can be overcome through a constitutional, peaceful and democratic solution based on dialogue;

12.  Urges the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to intercede with Latin American countries and regional organisations to ensure that mechanisms for dialogue and national reconciliation can mediate in Venezuela, and to support a peaceful, democratic and constitutional solution to the crisis the country is currently experiencing; calls, further, for the EU to mobilise humanitarian aid to help the Venezuelan people if necessary;

13.  Recalls that a visit by a parliamentary delegation has already been approved and is still pending; calls, therefore, for that visit to take place so that it can fulfil its mandate of taking stock of the political and social situation in Venezuela;

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 Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.