Motion for a resolution - B9-0211/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the migration and refugee crisis

6.7.2020 - (2019/2952(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 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Dolors Montserrat, Esteban González Pons, Leopoldo López Gil, Paulo Rangel, Antonio Tajani, David McAllister, Gabriel Mato, Antonio López‑Istúriz White, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Miriam Lexmann, Vladimír Bilčík, Ivan Štefanec, Michal Wiezik, Peter Pollák
on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0211/2020

Procedure : 2019/2952(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the migration and refugee crisis


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Venezuela, in particular that of 16 January 2020 on the parliamentary coup in Venezuela[1],

 having regard to the statement by the spokesperson for the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 1 April 2020 on the US proposal and the situation in the context of the coronavirus pandemic in Venezuela,

 having regard to the statement by UN human rights experts of 30 April 2020 on the health emergency in Venezuela,

 having regard to the warning by UN human rights experts of 6 May 2020 about the devastating impact of the country’s humanitarian and economic crisis on human rights,

 having regard to the joint press release of the UNHCR and IOM of 1 April 2020 on the situation of refugees and migrants from Venezuela during the COVID-19 crisis,

 having regard to the declarations by the VP/HR of 4 and 16 June 2020 on the latest developments in Venezuela,

 having regard to the statement by its Committee on Foreign Affairs of 11 June 2020 on the recent attacks on Venezuela’s National Assembly,

 having regard to the International Contact Group statements of 16 June 2020 on the undermined credibility of the Venezuelan electoral body, and of 24 June 2020 on the worsening political crisis in Venezuela,

 having regard to the Council decision of 29 June 2020 to add 11 leading Venezuelan officials to the list of those subject to restrictive measures[2],

 having regard to the Venezuelan Constitution,

 having regard to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 26 May 2020, the EU and the Government of Spain convened an international donors conference in solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants in countries in the region, with the support of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHRC) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM); whereas international donors pledged a total of EUR 2 544 million, of which only EUR 595 million are direct grants, the rest being conditional loans; whereas during the conference, some of the borrowers expressed concerns about the bureaucratic difficulties and the complexity of regulation they faced in obtaining the loans; whereas the EUR 595 million in direct grants will hardly cover the annual consequences of such an unprecedented crisis in Venezuela’s neighbouring countries;

B. whereas the severity of the political, economic, institutional, social and multidimensional humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic; whereas increasingly acute shortages of medicines and food, massive human rights violations, hyperinflation, political oppression, corruption and violence are endangering people’s lives and forcing them to flee the country;

C. whereas a growing number of people in Venezuela, in particular vulnerable groups such as women, children and sick people, are suffering from malnutrition as a consequence of limited access to quality health services, medicines, food and water;

D. whereas the Venezuelan national health system has been significantly weakened due to mishandling by the regime, resulting in critical shortages of medicines and a lack of available medical treatment; whereas the figures provided by the regime in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic lack credibility and are not trusted either within Venezuela or by the international community;

E. whereas the current multidimensional crisis in Venezuela is generating the largest population displacement ever seen in the region; whereas around five million Venezuelans have fled the country, with 80 percent of them displaced in countries in the region; whereas according to the UNHCR, the Venezuelan refugee crisis is the second biggest in the world, behind that of Syria;

F. whereas according to the UNHCR, the number of Venezuelans seeking asylum worldwide has increased by 2 000 %; whereas 650 000 Venezuelans have filed asylum claims worldwide and around two million have obtained residence permits from other countries in the Americas; whereas 12 % of the population has fled the country and people continue to leave at an average rate of 5 000 per day;

G. whereas the current global public health emergency has compounded an already desperate situation for many refugees and migrants from Venezuela, as well as their host countries; whereas many refugees and migrants depend on insufficient daily wages to cover basic needs such as shelter, food and healthcare;

H. whereas according to reports of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s debilitated health care system has been overwhelmed, hospitals are full of coronavirus patients and dozens of health workers have been infected;

I. whereas the illegitimate Venezuelan Supreme Court, controlled by the regime of Nicolás Maduro, unjustifiably ratified the appointment of Luis Parra as President of the National Assembly on 26 May 2020; whereas the illegal parliamentary session of January 2020, at which Parra claims to have been elected, was held in contravention of legal procedure and democratic constitutional principles, as the large majority of democratic representatives were prevented from attending the session and consequently from casting their votes; whereas the illegal decision emanating from this illegitimate parliamentary session led the Council of the EU to impose sanctions on a further 11 officials, including Luis Parra, for their role in undermining democracy and the rule of law;

J. whereas on 13 June 2020, the illegitimate Supreme Court once again appointed new members to the National Electoral Council (CNE), despite not having any legal power to do so; whereas according to the Articles 187 and 296 of the Venezuelan Constitution, these appointments are the sole and exclusive responsibility of the National Assembly, a body democratically elected by Venezuelan citizens; whereas the European Parliament will not recognise any decision or ruling that is unilaterally taken by these illegitimate bodies; whereas the officials responsible for these decisions have also been placed on the Council’s sanctions list;

K. whereas Nicolás Maduro ordered the EU Ambassador to leave the country within 72 hours in response to the Council’s decision of 29 June 2020 to place individual sanctions on several officials responsible for serious human rights breaches, and also threatened the Ambassador of Spain with further reprisals;

L. whereas the Maduro regime has lashed out against the political parties Accion Democratica, Primero Justicia and Un Nuevo Tiempo, subjecting them to systematic persecution through rulings of the illegitimate Supreme Court stripping them of their national directorates against the will of their members; whereas the democratic political party Voluntad Popular was classified as a terrorist organisation by the Maduro regime;

M. whereas the democratic international community, including the EU, has firmly rejected this electoral farce and all such illegal actions; whereas these actions reduce the democratic space in the country to a minimum and create profound obstacles to the resolution of the political crisis in Venezuela; whereas the formation of a plural and inclusive national emergency government composed of all of the country’s democratic political and social sectors, with the ability to address Venezuela’s current humanitarian needs is essential in order to overcome the escalating crisis;

N. whereas free and fair legislative and presidential elections held with respect for international standards, an independent and balanced CNE and a level playing field to enable the participation of political parties and candidates are cornerstones of a credible electoral process;

O. whereas on 15 June 2020, the Spanish daily newspaper ABC published classified documents dating back to 2010, according to which the Venezuelan regime authorised EUR 3.5 million of funding for the Movimento 5 Stelle in Italy; whereas this kind of foreign interference poses a significant threat to European democracies;

P. whereas Delcy Rodrigez, the Vice-President of Venezuela under the Maduro regime, was placed on the Council’s list of individuals subject to restrictive measures in 2018 and was barred from entering the EU; whereas in spite of this, she was received at Madrid airport on 20 January 2020 by the Spanish minister for transport; whereas the Spanish minister has given up to six different versions of the incident, some of them contradictory; whereas the Spanish Government has not given the public any transparent or convincing explanation of the episode; whereas the EU should have asked the Spanish Government for an explanation for this violation of EU law, and whereas there is so far no indication that an explanation has been provided; whereas the implementation of EU foreign affairs decisions is in hands of national authorities but the Commission has a responsibility to monitor the implementation of EU law;

Q. whereas on 12 June 2020, authorities in Cape Verde arrested Alex Saab, a businessman who has been implicated in several corruption schemes involving the Maduro regime and is now awaiting a judicial decision and possible extradition; whereas the Saab case illustrates how pervasive corruption has become in Venezuela while the country is in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis; whereas the country ranked 173rd out of 180 in Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index;

R. whereas the former ambassador of Spain to Venezuela, Raúl Morodo, who served under the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has recently been charged with bribery and embezzlement over the disappearance of EUR 35 million from the Venezuelan state oil and gas company PDVSA during his mandate as ambassador;

S. whereas the number of political prisoners in Venezuela has increased since mass civil unrest began in 2014 and currently stands at more than 300; whereas 11 Europeans are also reported to be detained in Venezuela;

T. whereas countries that are subject to sanctions should provide transparent information, accept international humanitarian assistance and prioritise the needs and rights of the most vulnerable parts of their populations;

1. Reiterates its deep concern at the severity of the humanitarian emergency, which poses a profound threat to the lives of Venezuelans; expresses its solidarity with all Venezuelans forced to flee their country for want of very basic living conditions, such as access to food, drinking water, health services and medicines;

2. Draws attention to the migration crisis which has spread across the entire region, namely to Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Panama and Argentina, as well as some EU Member States, and highlights the extremely difficult circumstances which are further aggravated by the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; praises the efforts of the neighbouring countries and the solidarity they have shown; 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;

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

4. Calls for urgent action to prevent the aggravation of the humanitarian and public health crisis, and in particular the reappearance of diseases such as measles, malaria, diphtheria and foot-and-mouth disease; calls for the rapid implementation of a short-term response to counter malnutrition among the most vulnerable groups, such as women, children and sick people;

5. Welcomes the pledges and efforts made at the international donors conference; considers that the majority of pledges, which are for loans and not direct grants, do not meet the intended goal of the conference; demands that the conditions for access to these loans be made flexible and transparent and so allow for their swift disbursal;

6. Strongly rejects the violations of the democratic, constitutional and transparent functioning of the National Assembly, as well as the intimidation, violence and arbitrary decisions perpetrated against its members; denounces the undemocratic appointment of new members to the CNE and the stripping of the national directorates from legitimate political parties against the will of their members;

7. Reiterates its acknowledgement that, as a result of the transparent and democratic vote of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó is the legitimate President of the National Assembly and the legitimate interim president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in accordance with Article 223 of the Venezuelan Constitution;

8. Reiterates its full support for the National Assembly, which is the only legitimately elected democratic body of Venezuela and whose powers need to be respected, as do the prerogatives and safety of its members; insists that a peaceful and political solution can only be reached by fully respecting the National Assembly’s constitutional prerogatives;

9. Recalls that respecting democratic institutions and principles and upholding the rule of law are essential conditions for finding a solution to the crisis in Venezuela for the benefit of its people; calls, therefore, for the urgent creation of conditions leading to free, transparent and credible presidential and legislative elections with a fixed calendar, fair conditions for all actors and full transparency, and in the presence of credible international observers; believes that this is the only way out of the crisis; 

10. Strongly regrets the fact that Delcy Rodriguez, despite being subject to EU restrictive measures, was able to enter the Schengen area last February and meet with the Spanish authorities, rather than being denied entry and ejected from EU territory; requests that the (VP/HR) address the Spanish authorities to demand a credible and transparent investigation into and explanation of the facts;

11. Welcomes the Council decision of 29 June 2020 to add 11 Venezuelan officials to the list of those subject to individual sanctions which do not harm the Venezuelan population, and calls for that list to be strengthened and enlarged if the situation of human rights and democracy in the country continues to deteriorate; considers that the EU authorities must restrict the movements of the individuals on that list, as well as those of their closest relatives, and freeze their assets and visas;

12. Deplores the decision by Nicolás Maduro to expel the EU Ambassador from Caracas in retaliation for the sanctions imposed on 11 Venezuelan officials responsible for serious human rights violations; welcomes, in this sense, the VP/HR’s statement announcing reciprocity and calls on the Member States to also consider withdrawing their ambassadors from Caracas, while ensuring the continuity of the work of diplomatic officials providing EU citizens with protection and consular services;

13. Denounces the rampant corruption which has become an integral part of the Maduro regime; denounces the Maduro regime’s financing of populist political parties in the EU and calls for a prompt and impartial investigation into this case; strongly denounces and deplores the corruption scandal involving former Spanish ambassador Morodo and urges the authorities to bring those responsible to justice;

14. Calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners and an end to the torture, ill-treatment and harassment of political opponents, human rights activists and peaceful protesters, and for those unfairly forced into exile to be allowed to return;

15. Fully supports the ICC investigations into the extensive crimes and acts of repression perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime; urges the EU to join the initiative of the ICC States Parties to open an investigation into crimes against humanity committed by the de facto Maduro government within the territory of Venezuela with a view to holding those responsible to account;

16. Requests the dispatching of a European Parliament fact‑finding mission to the country in order to assess the situation;

17. 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 governments and parliaments of the Lima Group countries, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.

Last updated: 7 July 2020
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