Motion for a resolution - B8-0319/2018Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its borders

2.7.2018 - (2018/2770(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, Petras Auštrevičius, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Gérard Deprez, Martina Dlabajová, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Charles Goerens, Marian Harkin, Nadja Hirsch, Ivan Jakovčić, Patricia Lalonde, Louis Michel, Ulrike Müller, Javier Nart, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic, Pavel Telička, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ivo Vajgl, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Cecilia Wikström on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0315/2018

Procedure : 2018/2770(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its borders


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], and of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela[7],

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

–  having regard to the statement of 8 February 2018 by the Prosecutor of the ICC,

–  having regard to the statements of the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, during his official mission to Colombia in March 2018,

–  having regard to the report published by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on 12 February 2018 entitled ‘Democratic Institutions, the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Venezuela’, and to the IACHR resolution of 14 March 2018,

–  having regard to the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Venezuela of 31 March 2017,

–  having regard to the UNHCR Guidance Note on the outflow of Venezuelans of March 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 23 April 2018 by its Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group,

–  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 declarations of 26 January 2018, 19 April 2018 and 22 May 2018 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the latest developments in Venezuela,

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

–  having regard to the report presented on 29 May 2018 by the Panel of Independent International Experts designated by the Secretary General of the OAS, which found reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuela, dating back to at least 12 February 2014,

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

–  having regard to the report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) entitled ‘Human Rights violations in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’ of 22 June 2018,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 13 November 2017, 22 January 2018, 28 May 2018 and 25 June 2018,

–  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 deteriorate; whereas Venezuela is facing an unprecedented and state-orchestrated political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis, resulting in a mounting death toll and increasing numbers of refugees and migrants;

B.  whereas the current multidimensional crisis in Venezuela is generating the largest population displacement ever seen in the region; whereas according to the UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the total number of Venezuelans to have left the country increased dramatically, from 437 000 in 2005 to over 1.6 million in 2017; whereas around 945 000 Venezuelans left the country between 2015 and 2017; whereas in 2018 the total number of people who have left the country since 2014 has exceeded 2 million; whereas there has been a 2 000 % increase in the number of Venezuelan nationals seeking asylum worldwide since 2014, reaching more than 280 000 by mid-June 2018;

C.  whereas according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Colombia is hosting the biggest share of displaced people, with over 820 000 Venezuelans living on its territory; whereas Cucuta and Boa Vista, which are situated on the border with Venezuela, are experiencing a major influx of people, who are often in terrible health and nutrition conditions; whereas Brazil, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Guyana, Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama are also facing influxes of great numbers of refugees; whereas maritime routes are becoming increasingly more significant, particularly to the Caribbean islands such as Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Trinidad and Tobago; whereas host countries are coming under increasing strain in terms of providing assistance to new arrivals;

D.  whereas according to the most recent European Asylum Support Office (EASO) report, Venezuelan applications for international protection in the EU increased by over 3 500 % between 2014 and 2017 (325 to 11 980), and Venezuelan applications for asylum in the EU increased from 150 in February 2016 to 985 a year later, reaching close to 1 400 in February 2018; whereas the increasing number of asylum applicants from Venezuela coincides with the political and economic challenges faced by the country;

E.  whereas a growing number of people in Venezuela, including children, are suffering from malnutrition as a consequence of limited access to quality health services, medicines and food; whereas, regrettably, despite the readiness of the international community, the Venezuelan Government remains obstinate in its denial of the problem and its refusal to openly receive and facilitate the distribution of international humanitarian aid;

F.  whereas the economic situation has significantly worsened; whereas the International Monetary Fund has projected that hyperinflation in Venezuela will soar to 13 000 % in 2018, up from an estimated 2 400 % in 2017, resulting in price increases of, on average, almost 1.5 % every hour;

G.  whereas the alarming level of insecurity and criminality in Venezuela is also among the root causes of migration;

H.  whereas on 17 March 2018 the EU allocated a humanitarian aid package of EUR 31 million to Latin America and the Caribbean, with EUR 6 million going to Colombia and a further EUR 2 million to those people affected by the political, human rights and socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela; whereas on 7 June 2018 the Commission announced a package of EUR 30.1 million in emergency aid and development assistance to support the Venezuelan people and the neighbourhood countries affected by the crisis; whereas in 2018, EUR 5 million was allocated via the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) to conflict prevention activities on the borders of Brazil and Colombia;

I.  whereas according to the report presented on 29 May 2018 by the Panel of Independent International Experts designated by the Secretary General of the OAS, seven crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuela, dating back at least as far as February 2014, and the government itself has been responsible for the worst-ever humanitarian crisis in the region; whereas these crimes against humanity include murder, arbitrary detention of political opponents, imprisonment, deprivation of liberty, torture, inhumane treatment, punishment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, political persecution, enforced disappearances, a state-orchestrated humanitarian crisis, the weaponisation of health and food on political grounds, and the refusal of humanitarian assistance; whereas this same report demonstrates the enormity of the assault on the rule of law by the government;

J.  whereas an OHCHR report of 22 June 2018 highlights the Venezuelan authorities’ failure to hold to account the perpetrators of serious human rights violations, which include killings, the use of excessive force against demonstrators, arbitrary detentions, ill-treatment and torture; whereas impunity in favour of security officers suspected of the extrajudicial killings of demonstrators also appears to be rife; whereas these findings are evidence of a further escalation of the tense situation in the country; whereas the Prosecutor of the ICC announced the launch of a preliminary investigation into alleged crimes committed in Venezuela since April 2017;

K.  whereas since 2014, when the political crisis in Venezuela worsened, 12 341 people have been imprisoned on political grounds and around half (7 285) remain subject to restrictions and precautionary measures requiring them to present themselves before the courts; whereas 237 civilians and 79 military personnel remain imprisoned in the country on political grounds; whereas on 6 June 2018, 79 prisoners were released, but only 40 of them correspond to the 316 political prisoners listed;

L.  whereas the elections held on 20 May 2018 were conducted without complying with the minimum international standards for a credible process and failed to respect political pluralism, democracy, transparency and the rule of law; whereas this poses additional constraints on efforts to resolve the political crisis; whereas the EU, together with other democratic bodies, does not recognise the elections or the authorities put in place by this illegitimate process;

M.  whereas its resolution of 8 February 2018 on the situation in Venezuela included the possibility of extending existing sanctions to those largely responsible for the heightened political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis, including President Nicolás Maduro;

1.  Is deeply shocked and alarmed by the devastating humanitarian situation in Venezuela, which has resulted in many deaths and an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants to neighbouring countries and beyond; expresses its solidarity with all Venezuelans forced to flee their country for want of very basic living conditions, such as access to food, health services, medicine and drinking water;

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

3.  Demands that the Venezuelan authorities allow unimpeded humanitarian aid into the country as a matter of urgency to prevent the aggravation of the humanitarian and public health crisis, and in particular to tackle the re-emergence of diseases such as measles, malaria and diphtheria, and that they grant unhindered access to international organisations wishing to assist all affected sectors of society; calls for the rapid implementation of a short-term response to counter malnutrition among the most vulnerable groups, such as children;

4.  Expresses grave concern at increasing reports of Venezuelans fleeing their country, in particular vulnerable groups, being subjected to discrimination, social exclusion, racism, xenophobia, forced and illegal labour (including among adolescents), human trafficking, sexual exploitation, migrant smuggling and gender-based violence, particularly among indigenous and afro-descendent populations, and at the growing numbers of unaccompanied minors;

5.  Commends the efforts of the countries in the region facing a huge influx of refugees and migrants fleeing Venezuela; commends the Colombian Government for its prompt reaction and the support it has provided to all incoming Venezuelans; also praises the work of Brazil and other countries in the region, not least Peru, and of regional and international organisations, private and public entities and ordinary citizens in the region as a whole for their active help and solidarity vis-à-vis Venezuelan refugees and migrants;

6.  Calls on the international community, namely the EU, the OAS and the Lima Group, and on neighbouring countries and territories to establish a coordinated, comprehensive and regional response to the situation in Venezuela in order to reach a regional solution to the refugee and migration components of this crisis;

7.  Welcomes the EU’s intention to step up humanitarian assistance for people fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and calls for further financial support to address this crisis;

8.  Urges the Venezuelan authorities to put an immediate end to all human rights violations, including violations against civilians, and to fully respect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly; urges the Venezuelan authorities to restore democratic order, it being an indispensable condition for putting an end to the escalating crisis;

9.  Calls 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, in order ultimately to prevent the forced illegality of migrants who do not possess the proper documentation;

10.  Strongly reiterates its previous calls on the Venezuelan authorities for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining political prisoners and to respect democratically elected bodies, including the National Assembly;

11.  Calls for the holding of fresh presidential elections in accordance with internationally recognised democratic standards, fully in line with OAS criteria, and the Venezuelan constitutional order; stresses that the legitimate government resulting from such elections must urgently address the current economic and social crisis in Venezuela and work towards national reconciliation;

12.  Welcomes the arms embargo imposed in November 2017 and the swift adoption of additional targeted and reversible sanctions, which were imposed on the condition that they do not harm the Venezuelan population and which may only be lifted if political prisoners are released and if the Government of Venezuela shows tangible progress in the field of democracy, the rule of law and human rights; reiterates that these sanctions have been imposed on high ranking officials for grave human rights violations and for undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela in the run-up to, during and after the illegitimate and internationally unrecognised elections of 20 May 2018, which took place without an agreement having been reached on the date or conditions, and in circumstances that did not allow for the participation of all political parties on an equal footing; recalls the possibility of extending these sanctions to those responsible for the heightened political, social, economic and humanitarian crisis, in particular President Nicolás Maduro, in accordance with its resolution of February 2018;

13.  Reiterates that those responsible for grave human rights violations must be held to account; fully supports the ICC’s investigations into the extensive crimes and acts of repression perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime; fully supports the call of the Panel of Independent International Experts designated by the Secretary General of the OAS and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish a commission of inquiry into the situation in Venezuela and to deepen the involvement of the ICC; calls on Member States party to the Rome Statute to request the launch of an ICC investigation into the crimes against humanity committed by the Venezuelan Government; calls for the EU to play an active role in this regard;

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 and the Republic of Peru, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States and the Lima Group.



Last updated: 3 July 2018
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