Motion for a resolution - B8-0087/2019Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Venezuela

30.1.2019 - (2019/2543(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

Molly Scott Cato, Tilly Metz on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

Procedure : 2019/2543(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the statement of 24 January 2019 attributable to the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, on the new wave of violence in Venezuela[1],

–  having regard to the declaration of 25 January 2019 by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet,

–  having regard to the declaration of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament of 28 January 2019, signed by its President Elías Castillo,

–  having regard to the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of June 2018 entitled ‘Human rights violations in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: a downward spiral with no end in sight’,

–  having regard to Council decision (CFSP) 2018/901 of 25 June 2018[2] to add 11 Venezuelan officials to the sanction list,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 15 October 2018,

–  having regard to Amnesty International’s full report on Venezuela of 20 September 2018 entitled ‘This is no way to live: public security and right to life in Venezuela’, and to more recent documents on Venezuela issued by Amnesty International,

–  having regard to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Venezuela,

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

A.  whereas last week saw rising tensions and the dramatic escalation of violence in relation to protests in Venezuela, with at least 20 people killed, many injured and large-scale detentions;

B.  whereas there is a serious need to overcome and find a negotiated way out of the current situation: the social unrest, economic hardship and exodus of millions of Venezuelans, the severe shortage of food, scarcity of medicines and lack of adequate medical services, and the insufficient protection of human rights, insecurity and violence in the streets, all a consequence of political mismanagement and autocratic behaviour by the Maduro government;

C.  whereas the response of governmental authorities to legitimate demonstrations has sparked the worst anti-opposition repression so far, with an excessive use of police force that shows no respect for the physical integrity of demonstrators, mass arbitrary detentions, intimidation and ill-treatment, including sexual violence; whereas silencing demonstrators does not offer any sustainable solutions to the conflict and goes against all international obligations in terms of the right to peaceful protest;

D.  whereas the condemnation of civilians by military courts, the impunity, and the harassment and criminalisation of human rights defenders at the hands of the Maduro government have been widely denounced and condemned by national and international organisations;

E.  whereas in February 2018 the Prosecutor of the ICC decided to open a preliminary examination of the situation in Venezuela in order to analyse crimes allegedly committed in the country since April 2017, in the context of demonstrations and related political unrest;

F.  whereas the right to peaceful protest is a fundamental human right, while any call for protests needs to be carefully framed to avoid fuelling further violence or provocation in the light of current tensions;

G.  whereas any solution to this deep and multifaceted conflict must be found within the framework of the rule of law and be in accordance with international standards, and must fully respect democracy and human rights;

H.  whereas international recognition of any new government formed on the basis of auto-proclamation runs a serious risk of fuelling the already incendiary situation, and even civil war, and could produce spill-over effects outside Venezuela, given the risk of an increased number of migrants fleeing to neighbouring countries;

I.  whereas several mediation proposals from Mexico, Uruguay, and the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament, together with an offer to create an International Contact Group, supported by the EU, have reached Venezuela in recent days;

J.  whereas the role of the European Union should be to offer mediation between all actors involved in the conflict within the country, a role it can usefully play given the close connection between several EU Member States and Venezuela;

K.  whereas according to numbers provided by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN-affiliated International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the number of Venezuelan refugees, most of whom are in nearby countries, has reached well in excess of 3 million people, putting unprecedented strain on the humanitarian and economic resources of the host countries;

1.  Condemns the response of President Maduro and the authorities to the demonstrations in the country; condemns the escalation of violence and all cases of extrajudicial killings, injuries and unlawful detentions; deplores the current escalating unrest and extends its condolences to the friends and families of those killed, injured and detained;

2.  Reiterates its strong condemnation of these and previous human rights violations by President Maduro and his government, and repeats its call to end impunity for crimes committed in the past as well as during the current wave of protests; calls, in this regard, for full, independent and impartial investigations into these crimes and violations, and for the perpetrators in all these cases to be brought to justice;

3.  Warns against any repetition of the violence reported in 2017; insists on the need for the Venezuelan authorities to respect freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly; reiterates its concern over the Maduro government’s undermining of the democratic mandate of the elected assembly, whose powers and prerogatives should be recognised and respected; calls on all actors to renounce the use of excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force, which is clearly and unequivocally prohibited under international law;

4.  Reiterates its deep concerns over the lack of legitimacy of the May 2018 presidential elections, which were neither free, fair, or credible; stresses the importance of the self-determination of the Venezuelan people and the importance of a genuine expression of their democratic will; demands, therefore, the organisation of free and fair elections at the earliest possible date; calls on political leaders to refrain from recognising a new president who has no electoral mandate, as doing so may fuel further unrest and political instability; notes that such recognition violates the principle of self-determination and undermines democratic norms;

5.  Urges all sides to immediately enter into an inclusive and credible National Dialogue aimed at finding a long-term and lasting solution to the Venezuelan crisis; recommends that such a dialogue could be supported by international mediation, as has been offered by Mexico and Uruguay; invites European Union actors to fully engage in mediation efforts; underlines the important role that the United Nations and an international framework must play in this context;

6.  Applauds the suggestion of the European External Action Service (EEAS) to create an International Contact Group with the countries of the region and any other key actors, as affirmed in the Council conclusions of 15 October 2018, with the aim of facilitating a National Dialogue between all sides, including the National Assembly and the Venezuelan Government; insists on the need to hold new elections as soon as possible and in line with international standards, as part of a stabilisation and transition process;

7.  Expresses its deep concern that recent actions by Venezuelan and foreign actors will encourage further polarisation, including at international level, and risk turning the Venezuelan conflict into a proxy battlefield contested by international powers, such as the USA, Russia and China, intent on asserting control over Venezuelan oil reserves; raises alarm about the potential risk of the violence and unrest in Venezuela spilling over into neighbouring countries, and the risk of it ultimately leading to war in the region;

8.  Insists that double standards with respect to third countries should be avoided and that the EU and its Member States should be consistent in their positions towards third countries; recalls the importance of a unified EU response as the basis for a strong and more credible EU position;

9.  Calls on the military and security forces to strictly abide by their mandate, so that the military is able to play a constructive role in line with its constitutional duty; condemns the creation and actions of the paramilitary forces, whoever may be commanding them, and calls for their immediate dismantlement, for all their crimes to be swiftly investigated, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice in accordance with international standards;

10.  Recalls that the situation of the Venezuelan refugees demands long-term solutions; takes cognisance of the numerous efforts by neighbouring countries to provide not only food and housing, but also regular legal documentation, schooling and medical support, and invites European Union actors to do the same with respect to all refugees;

11.  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 parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Government and authorities of Venezuela and the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.


Last updated: 31 January 2019
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