Procedure : 2019/2628(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0229/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 28/03/2019 - 8.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0225/2019

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

on the emergency situation in Venezuela  (2019/2628(RSP))

Javier Nart, Dita Charanzová, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, María Teresa Giménez Barbat, Marian Harkin, Ivan Jakovčić, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Louis Michel, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Frédérique Ries, Marietje Schaake, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Mirja Vehkaperäon behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on the emergency situation in Venezuela  (2019/2628(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Venezuela, in particular those of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela(1), of 5 July 2018 on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil(2), and of 25 October 2018(3) and 31 January 2019(4) on the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the recent declarations of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on behalf of the EU on the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the latest Council conclusions,

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

–  having regard to the Venezuelan Constitution, and in particular Article 233 thereof,

–  having regard to the Amnesty International Report of 20 February 2019(5),

–  having regard to the declarations of the Lima Group, particularly that of 25 February 2019(6),

–  having regard to the message of the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS) of 20 April 2018 on the worsening humanitarian situation in Venezuela(7), and to the OAS member states’ joint statement on Venezuela of 24 January 2019(8),

–  having regard to the precautionary measures granted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to protect Juan Guaidó,

–  having regard to the oral update of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 20 March 2019 on the situation of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,

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

A.  whereas Venezuela is facing a profound humanitarian crisis, shortages of medicines and food, a situation of massive human rights violations, hyperinflation, political oppression, corruption and violence; whereas living conditions have seriously deteriorated and 87 % of the population are now living in poverty;

B.  whereas the recent nationwide blackout that is still affecting certain states is contributing to a further dramatic deterioration in health services and in the supply of food and water; whereas new failures of the electricity grid and water supply are feared in the coming days and whereas the regime cannot guarantee these services to its own population;

C.  whereas the lack of electricity has aggravated a dramatic crisis in Venezuelan hospitals, which are also lacking investment and maintenance, in addition to their shortage of medicines; whereas dozens of people have died in public hospitals during the blackout;

D.  whereas the already limited food supplies in Venezuela are at risk of spoiling; whereas people are struggling to obtain water, food and medicine;

E.  whereas the outages are a consequence of mismanagement, lack of maintenance and corruption by Nicolás Maduro’s illegal regime;

F.  whereas, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), more than 2.7 million Venezuelans have left the country since 2015 and that number could rise to 5 million by the end of the year if the crisis continues to worsen;

G.  whereas the Venezuelan population is facing an unprecedented social, economic and democratic crisis, with more than 3 million people having left the country and the inflation rate exceeding 1 650 000 %; whereas more than 1 million children no longer attend school;

H.  whereas clashes continue along the borders with Brazil and Colombia; whereas Venezuela’s land and maritime borders with Colombia, Brazil and the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are effectively closed;

I.  whereas international aid has been collected at several points along the borders with Colombia and Brazil, awaiting entry to the country; whereas Nicolás Maduro has repeatedly rejected international aid, allowing part of the aid to go to waste and thus causing greater distress to the population and increasing tensions at the borders;

J.  whereas on 10 January 2019, Nicolás Maduro illegitimately usurped presidential power before the Supreme Court of Justice, in breach of the constitutional order;

K.  whereas the European Parliament and a significant share of the international community recognised Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate interim president on 31 January 2019, but Maduro retains control of the armed forces and state institutions;

L.  whereas Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Czechia and Estonia recognised Guaidó as interim president after incumbent president Nicolás Maduro showed no intention of calling a new election; whereas more than 50 countries have now recognised Guaidó as interim president, including 24 EU Member States;

M.  whereas on 8 February 2018, the Prosecutor of the ICC opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Venezuela;

N.  whereas in the past two years, the Union has committed more than EUR 67 million in humanitarian and development assistance to Venezuela and is ready to scale up this assistance;

O.  whereas protests continue in Venezuela, notably in Caracas; whereas attacks and intimidation against civilians, members of the opposition and lawmakers, from both security forces and irregular armed groups, have been intensifying;

P.  whereas the videos revealed by the former officer and aviation lieutenant Ronald Dugarte, presented to the OAS, detail and demonstrate cases of torture registered between December 2018 and February 2019, which constitute crimes against humanity;

Q.  whereas since the beginning of 2019, 40 journalists have been detained as part of the growing crackdown on dissent and press freedom which has been ongoing for several years, but which has intensified since 10 January 2019;

R.  whereas on 21 March 2019, Venezuela’s intelligence police detained the Juan Guaidó’s Head of Cabinet, Roberto Marrero, and forcefully entered into the home of Sergio Vergara, member of the National Assembly for the State of Táchira, disregarding his parliamentary immunity;

S.  whereas the Cuban police force and military intelligence service are the strategic element that allows Maduro’s illegal regime to persist;

T.  whereas on Saturday, 23 January, two aeroplanes belonging to the Russian Air Force arrived at Simón Bolívar International Airport, in Maiquetía, with at least one hundred soldiers on board, and whereas this type of action has been repeated in recent months;

1.  Expresses deep concern at the severe humanitarian emergency in Venezuela, which is profoundly damaging the lives of the country’s population;

2.  Supports Juan Guaidó, the interim president in accordance with Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution and calls on the VP/HR, together with all the Member States, to recognise Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and support his roadmap to achieve new free, transparent and credible presidential elections and the restoration of democracy; welcomes the fact that a significant share of the international community and the majority of EU Member States have already recognised the new interim presidency; regrets that a common position has not been found in the Council on this matter;

3.  Reiterates its full support for the National Assembly, which is currently the only legitimate democratic body of Venezuela and whose powers need to be restored and respected, including the prerogatives and safety of its members;

4.  Reiterates its call for the full recognition as ambassadors of the diplomatic representatives appointed by the legitimate interim president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó, to the EU and its Member States; welcomes the acknowledgment by the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) of Ricardo Hausmann as Governor of Venezuela in those entities;

5.  Is dismayed at the recent grave electricity crisis, caused by mismanagement, underinvestment and corruption, which culminated in a nationwide blackout in early March 2019 that lasted more than 100 hours, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and leading to a number of fatalities, causing chaos across the country, paralysing airports and hospitals, cutting phone and internet services and shutting down water supplies;

6.  Condemns the blockade by the illegal Maduro regime of urgently needed humanitarian aid supplies; reiterates that humanitarian assistance needs to enter the country unimpeded and reach those in need, living in conditions of extreme vulnerability; condemns the actions of the Maduro regime of 23 February 2019, which prevented the entry of humanitarian aid donated by several countries and collected at the borders with Colombia and Brazil, and even went so far as to destroy it;

7.  Supports the members of the Venezuelan military who have refused to repress the civilian population during this crisis and have deserted; recognises the work of the Colombian authorities in the protection and care of these dissident soldiers; encourages military personnel, especially those in positions of high command, to reject orders that involve violations of human rights and to support the constitutional route led by the interim president Juan Guaidó;

8.  Warmly welcomes and strongly supports the efforts made by international organisations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, as well as other non-governmental organisations, in helping Venezuelan migrants and refugees in neighbouring Colombia and Brazil, among other countries;

9.  Expresses deep concern at reports that demonstrate that the presence of organised crime in Venezuela, its expansion and cross-border operation, especially towards Colombia, put at risk the stability of the region;

10.  Calls for the powers of the democratically elected National Assembly to be restored and respected; calls for the constitutionally mandated immunity, freedom and safety of all National Assembly members, and of Assembly President Juan Guaidó, to be respected;

11.  Condemns the raids by Maduro’s security services and the detention of interim president Juan Guaidó’s Head of Cabinet, Roberto Marrero, as well as the recent forced entry into the house of National Assembly member Sergio Vergara; calls for Marrero’s immediate release; condemns the kidnapping of the National Assembly member Juan Requesens and calls for his release;

12.  Takes note of the establishment of the International Contact Group (ICG) at the initiative of the European Union, which aims to create the conditions for early presidential elections and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance; urges this initiative to serve as an effective mechanism to produce tangible results in the short term, especially following the emergency situation suffered across the country during the past weeks and the meeting held in Montevideo on 7 March; calls on the ICG to avoid being used by Maduro’s regime as a strategy to delay the resolution of the crisis, and to urgently explore ways to address the pressing needs of the Venezuelan population and to increase support for the Venezuelan refugees who have fled to other countries in the region and beyond; indicates that the ICG must be aligned with the positions of the European Parliament, as set out in its resolutions, and collaborate with the Lima Group, as it is the regional actor that has led the opposition to the Maduro regime;

13.  Reiterates its support for a peaceful and democratic solution to the political crisis; insists that the only solution for the country is free, transparent and credible presidential elections based on a fixed calendar, fair conditions for all actors and transparency, and in the presence of credible international observers;

14.  Recognises the importance of the Lima Group, and the efforts undertaken by its member countries, as a regional mechanism seeking a democratic solution to the crisis under the leadership of Juan Guaidó as legitimate interim president of Venezuela;

15.  Draws attention to the increased refugee and migratory crisis across the entire region and praises the efforts and solidarity shown by neighbouring countries, and asks the Commission to continue cooperating with these countries, not only by providing humanitarian assistance but also by providing more resources and through development policy;

16.  Reiterates that the humanitarian crisis stems from a political one; strongly calls on the Venezuelan authorities to ensure that all human rights violations and any violations against civilians are immediately halted, and that all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly, are fully respected;

17.  Strongly condemns the fierce repression of those who oppose and denounce the regime, including military personnel, doctors, public workers, political opponents, academics and students, members of the judiciary, indigenous communities such as the Pemon, and members of civil society organisations, as well as the violence that has resulted in killings and casualties; expresses its solidarity with the people of Venezuela and its sincere condolences to the families and friends of those affected; urges the de facto Venezuelan authorities to halt all human rights violations, hold those responsible for them to account, and ensure that all fundamental freedoms and human rights are fully respected;

18.  Calls as a matter of urgency for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Sakharov Prize laureate Leopoldo López and numerous journalists, some of whom are EU nationals;

19.  Strongly supports the call by the UN Secretary-General for an independent and full investigation to be carried out into the reported casualties; recalls the EU’s commitment to multilateralism, within the framework of the UN doctrine, as a collective commitment agreed by the member states of the United Nations to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe with greater consequences; reiterates its full support for the ICC’s role in the fight against impunity and in bringing the perpetrators of violence and human rights violations to justice, and for the opening of an investigation following the preliminary examinations into crimes committed by the Maduro regime, including some that amount to serious crimes against humanity;

20.  Urges the Council to immediately adopt further targeted sanctions against representatives of the illegitimate Venezuelan regime responsible for human rights violations and undermining democracy and the rule of law, and to expand these sanctions to include their family members; requests that the Council consider imposing sanctions on Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA Holding;

21.  Urges the international community to adopt all the necessary measures to implement the ‘responsibility to protect’, which is the responsibility of all the member states of the UN, in the face of the crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime and the deterioration of the human rights crisis;

22.  Urges the Government of the Republic of Cuba to stop its interference in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as it is affecting relations between Cuba and the European Union;

23.  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 legitimate interim President of the Republic and National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the International Contact Group, the governments and parliaments of the Lima Group countries, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0199.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0313.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0436.


Texts adopted, P8_TA(2019)0061.


Venezuela: Hunger, punishment and fear, the formula for repression used by authorities under Nicolás Maduro, Amnesty International, 20 February 2019.




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