Procedure : 2017/2651(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0270/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 27/04/2017 - 5.69
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0270/2017

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Venezuela (2017/2651(RSP))

Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Dita Charanzová, Nedzhmi Ali, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Enrique Calvet Chambon, Marielle de Sarnez, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Marian Harkin, Gesine Meissner, Louis Michel, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Frédérique Ries, Jasenko Selimovic, Pavel Telička, Hilde Vautmans, Paavo Väyrynen, Cecilia Wikström on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela (2017/2651(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its numerous previous 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), of 12 March 2015 on the situation in Venezuela(3), and of 8 June 2016 on the situation in Venezuela(4),

–  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 Inter-American Democratic Charter, adopted on 11 September 2001,

–  having regard to the Constitution of Venezuela, and in particular Articles 72 and 233 thereof,

–  having regard to the letter of 16 May 2016 from Human Rights Watch to the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, Luis Almagro Lemes, about Venezuela(5),

–  having regard to the statement of 31 March 2017 by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, on the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s decision to take over the legislative powers of the National Assembly,

–  having regard to the warnings outlined in the OAS’ reports of 30 May 2016 and 14 March 2017 on Venezuela and its Secretary-General’s call for the urgent convocation of the Permanent Council, under Article 20 of the Democratic Charter, to discuss Venezuela’s political crisis,

–  having regard the letter of 27 March 2017 from the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, on the worsening and severe political, economic and humanitarian crises in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the OAS declaration signed by 14 of its member states on 13 March 2017 demanding that Venezuela promptly schedule elections, release political prisoners and recognise its constitution’s separation of powers, among other measures,

–  having regard the OAS Permanent Council’s resolution of 3 April 2017 on the recent events in Venezuela,

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

A.  whereas on 27 March 2017 the Venezuelan Supreme Court issued a decision declaring all legislation passed by the National Assembly unconstitutional and described the support for the Inter-American Democratic Charter as a treasonous act even though it is a legal document which Venezuela has signed; whereas on 29 March 2017 the Venezuelan Supreme Court issued a decision declaring the National Assembly to be in contempt and nullified its actions, providing for the Supreme Court to assume the legislative function;

B.  whereas the decisions were issued without any constitutional basis – either the powers granted to the National Assembly (Article 187 of the Constitution) or those enjoyed by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Article 336 of the Constitution);

C.  whereas the State Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Díaz, appointed by the Venezuelan Government, rejected the decision issued by the Supreme Court, considering it a breach of constitutional order;

D.  whereas the decisions issued by the Venezuelan Supreme Court violate both the separation of powers guaranteed by the constitution and the obligation on all judges to respect and ensure the integrity of the Venezuelan constitution (Article 334);

E.  whereas the Supreme Court has previously declared the National Assembly in contempt and nullified its actions on 1 August 2016 and on 5 September 2016, through Ruling No 808;

F.  whereas universal standards, as well as regional and international agreements, to which Venezuela is a party and is therefore obligated to enforce, define the separation of powers as a necessary guarantee to protect the rights of citizens and defend democracy and the rule of law, which are a basic prerequisite for the existence of representative democracy;

G.  whereas international pressure forced President Nicolas Maduro to ask the Supreme Court to review the ruling nullifying the National Assembly, and whereas the Supreme Court on 1 April 2017 released new rulings that appeared to reinstate the National Assembly’s authority;

H.  whereas Venezuela’s opposition coalition, the MUD, won 112 seats in the 167-member unicameral National Assembly, a two-thirds majority, compared with 55 seats for the PSUV; whereas the Supreme Court subsequently prevented four newly-elected National Assembly representatives, including three from the MUD, from taking office, thereby depriving the opposition of its two-thirds majority;

I.  whereas the latest arbitrary arrests have raised the number of political prisoners to 111, including major political leaders such as Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma and Daniel Ceballos;

J.  whereas on 25 January 2017 the Secretary-General of the OAS, Luis Almagro Lemes, declared in the European Parliament that the dialogue initiated on 30 October 2016 and endorsed by the European Union through the mediation of three former presidents and the Catholic Church, had failed to fulfil its objectives; whereas the government refused to offer the MUD any concessions throughout these negotiations;

K.  whereas the government has suspended the local and regional elections scheduled for December 2016, and has prevented a recall referendum from taking place – a constitutional provision that allows 20 % of the electorate to request the removal of an unpopular President – despite all the constitutional requirements having been fulfilled, and has threatened to interrupt all electoral processes indefinitely;

L.  whereas the influence of the Cuban regime in Venezuela, in terms of social programmes, and police and security services, has contributed to destabilising democracy and increasing political repression against the opposition;

1.  Expresses grave concern at the continued unconstitutional violation of the democratic order in Venezuela, after the ruling issued by the Venezuelan Supreme Court with the aim of taking over the legislative powers of the National Assembly, and at the lack of separation of powers and independence of the branches of government;

2.  Condemns the decisions of the Supreme Court of Venezuela to suspend the powers of the National Assembly and to arrogate them to itself, believing them to be fundamentally at odds with democratic practices and to constitute a violation of the constitutional order of Venezuela; considers it essential, notwithstanding the recent revision of some elements of these decisions, that the Government of Venezuela ensure the full restoration of the democratic order;

3.  Expresses grave concern at the seriously deteriorating situation as regards democracy, human rights and the socio-economic situation in Venezuela, with an growing climate of political and social instability;

4.  Calls on the Government and the Supreme Court of Venezuela to respect the Constitution, including the powers conferred by the Venezuelan Constitution on all duly elected members of parliament;

5.  Calls on the Venezuelan Government to safeguard the separation and independence of powers and to restore full constitutional authority to the National Assembly; recalls that separation and non-interference between equally legitimate powers is an essential principle of democratic states guided by the rule of law;

6.  Calls on the Venezuelan Government to release all political prisoners immediately; recalls that the freeing of political prisoners was approved by the National Assembly through the Law of National Reconciliation, vetoed by decision of the Executive Power; stresses that there can be no durable peaceful solution for Venezuela in the long term if there are political prisoners;

7.  Calls on the Government of Venezuela to comply with the constitution and to present an electoral calendar that will allow free and transparent electoral processes to take place;

8.  Welcomes the resolution adopted by the Permanent Council of the OAS on 3 April 2017 and calls on the VP/HR to support this resolution; calls on the VP/HR, furthermore, to actively explore other measures that will enable the EU to constructively promote political stabilisation in Venezuela and return to democratic order through the effective exercise of democracy and rule of law within the Venezuelan constitutional framework;

9.  Calls on the Council to consider the option of applying targeted sanctions and other measures against officials or any other person responsible for the violation of rights of protesters or the democratic opposition;

10.  Calls on the Venezuelan Government to respect and guarantee the constitutional right to freedom of peaceful assembly; calls on the Venezuelan authorities to guarantee security and free exercise of rights for all citizens, in particular human rights defenders, journalists, political activists and members of independent non-governmental organisations who are at greater risk of attacks and arbitrary detention;

11.  Calls on the Venezuelan authorities to allow humanitarian aid into the country as a matter of urgency and to grant access to the international organisations that wish to assist the worst affected sectors of society;

12.  Reiterates its urgent 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;

13.  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.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0176.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0106.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0080.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0269.


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