Motion for a resolution - B8-0728/2016Motion 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

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Dita Charanzová, Nedzhmi Ali, Petras Auštrevičius, Ivan Jakovčić, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Gesine Meissner, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic, Pavel Telička, Paavo Väyrynen, Cecilia Wikström, Enrique Calvet Chambon, Martina Dlabajová, José Inácio Faria, Marian Harkin, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Matthijs van Miltenburg, Hilde Vautmans on behalf of the ALDE Group

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

Procedure : 2016/2699(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its 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 the statement of 7 December 2015 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, on the elections in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 12 April 2016 by the Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani,

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

A.  whereas, as in any other democratic country, national sovereignty is vested in the people of Venezuela, represented by the National Assembly, as recognised in Article 5 of the Venezuelan Constitution;

B.  whereas on 30 March 2016 the Venezuelan National Assembly passed a law that would give amnesty to more than 90 political prisoners in Venezuela, thus paving the way for much-needed dialogue and national reconciliation; whereas this law is constitutional, as it categorically prohibits the pardoning of criminal acts related to crimes against humanity, war crimes and grave violations of human rights, as required by Article 29 of the constitution;

C.  whereas both the executive and the Supreme Court have been hindering the legislative powers of the National Assembly since its opening in December 2015 following the opposition’s majority victory; whereas the Supreme Court has declared the amnesty law unconstitutional;

D.  whereas 96 political prisoners remain jailed and 2 000 are on probation; whereas since 2014 there have been more than 4 029 politically motivated detentions, with more than 168 in May 2016 alone, as indicated by the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano; whereas leaders of the opposition, including Leopoldo López and the democratically elected mayors Antonio Ledezma and Daniel Ceballos, also remain prisoners;

E.  whereas the Venezuelan executive has complete control over the country’s judiciary and electoral commission, in clear breach of the principle of independence and separation of powers that is characteristic of democratic states governed by the rule of law;

F.  whereas the Venezuelan executive has complete control over the press and the media, in clear breach of the fundamental right of freedom of expression that is upheld in any democratic state;

G.  whereas Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated publicly that the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law was in line with international law and expressed disappointment at its rejection; whereas the Secretary‑General of the Organisation of American States, Luis Almagro, called on President Nicolás Maduro to pass the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law;

H.  whereas 2015 ended with an inflation rate of 180.9 %, the world’s highest, according to figures published by the Central Bank of Venezuela, and whereas the worst-affected products were food and non-alcoholic beverages, with an inflation rate of 315 %; whereas for 2016 the International Monetary Fund predicts an inflation rate of about 700 %;

I.  whereas Venezuela is facing a serious humanitarian crisis, caused by shortages of food and medicine; whereas the National Assembly has declared a ‘humanitarian health and food crisis’ in view of the general lack of medicines, medical devices and supplies, and has asked the World Health Organisation (WHO) for humanitarian aid and a technical visit to certify the conditions described above;

J.  whereas the government is preventing the entry of humanitarian aid into the country, and is boycotting the various international initiatives to assist civil society, as has happened with Caritas and other NGOs;

K.  whereas the democratic opposition has started a constitutionally recognised process that enables public officials to be removed from office after completing 50 % of their term; whereas the National Electoral Council received 1.8 million signatures of Venezuelan citizens in support of this process, many more than the 198 000 initially required for the process to be legal and constitutionally accepted;

L.  whereas the introduction of foreign exchange controls in 2003 is one of the many examples of economic mismanagement by the state; whereas the recent state of emergency decreed by President Maduro has only worsened the economic crisis; whereas a solution to the crisis can only be found through dialogue with all levels of government and society;

M.  whereas on 27 May 2016 the G7 countries issued a statement urging Venezuela ‘to establish the conditions for dialogue between the government and its citizens to resolve the increasingly serious economic and political crisis’;

1.  Expresses its grave concern at the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the climate of increasing political and social instability;

2.  Calls on the Venezuelan Government to adopt a constructive attitude and to find a solution to this serious crisis by opening a close and inclusive dialogue with all sectors of society, including the democratically elected opposition;

3.  Calls on President Maduro and his government to implement urgent economic reforms in cooperation with the democratically elected National Assembly in order to find a constructive solution to the economic and energy crises, in particular the shortage of food and medicines;

4.  Calls for the EU, its Member States and VP/HR Federica Mogherini to urge the Venezuelan authorities to allow humanitarian aid into the country and to grant access to international organisations wishing to assist the most affected sectors of society;

5.  Calls for the EU, its Member States and the VP/HR to urge the Venezuelan Government to immediately release political prisoners and those detained arbitrarily, in line with the demands made by several UN bodies and international organisations and with the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law;

6.  Calls for the EU, its Member States and the VP/HR to urge the Venezuelan Government to ratify the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law and to comply with international treaties, in respect of which Venezuela must fulfil its commitments;

7.  Calls for the EU, its Member States and the VP/HR to support national efforts to establish mechanisms for dialogue and reconciliation in close cooperation with UNASUR, in order to strengthen the presence of international organisations so that they can facilitate this process and serve as potential guarantors and mediators;

8.  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 laid down in the Venezuelan Constitution for impeaching the president, before the end of 2016; urges the Supreme Court to respect the separation of powers and constitutional legality;

9.  Calls for the EU, its Member States and the VP/HR to advocate a reform of the foreign exchange controls introduced in 2003 by former president Hugo Chávez;

10.  Calls on the Council and the Member States to implement effectively the requirements of international conventions on human rights, and to study the possibility of applying targeted sanctions to Venezuelan officials who have been identified as violators of human rights, including freezing the assets of individuals and banning them from entering the EU;

11.  Reiterates its request for a European Parliament delegation to be sent to Venezuela and to hold a dialogue with all sectors involved in the conflict as soon as possible;

12.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative 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.