Motion for a resolution - B9-0212/2020Motion 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

Manu Pineda
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

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 the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,

 having regard to the principle of non-intervention laid down in the UN Charter,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

 having regard to the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 8 August 2019 on the sanctions imposed on Venezuela,

 having regard to the study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research of April 2019, entitled ‘Economic Sanctions as Collective Punishment: The Case of Venezuela’,

 having regard to the fact that the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on 14 July 2019 presented by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela during its presidency of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM) in favour of strengthening international cooperation in the field of human rights with a view to countering the negative consequences of the unilateral coercive measures, which are in fact sanctions,

 having regard to Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which state that ‘all peoples have the right of self-determination’ and that ‘by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development’,

 having regard to the call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 24 March 2020 on the need to ease sanctions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,

 having regard to the Joint communiqué after the phone call between High Representative Borrell and Minister Arreaza of 2 July 2020,

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

A. whereas the internal economic and social situation in Venezuela has deteriorated as a consequence of increasing US and EU economic and financial sanctions, leading to hyperinflation, supply shortages, growing poverty, and a scarcity of medicines and medical equipment;

B. whereas according to the UNHCR, 4.5 million Venezuelan citizens have migrated to third countries;

C. whereas the US State Department continues to threaten Venezuela with additional sanctions that would have a further impact on the situation of the Venezuelan population;

D. whereas unilateral coercive measures are contrary to established international law; whereas the UN, and in particular its Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, has repeatedly stressed this; whereas sanctions cause disruption to any state and, when they harm the economy, can have a devastating impact on the citizens of developing countries;

E. whereas the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that the sanctions imposed on Venezuela result in people’s fundamental human rights being denied, including their economic rights and rights to food and health, and has called for a political solution to the situation;

F. whereas on 29 June 2020 the Council added 11 more Venezuelan individuals to its sanctions list, which now comprises 36 people;

G. whereas the external interference, destabilisation, disinformation campaigns, manipulation of public opinion and violence promoted by some sectors of the opposition with the support of the US, the EU and the so-called Lima Group have inflamed the ongoing social crisis;

H. whereas the Venezuelan authorities put a stop to Operation Gideon, which took place on 3 and 4 May 2020; whereas 13 mercenaries, including US citizens who were part of the private military company Silvercorp USA, were arrested in La Guaira while trying to infiltrate the country and, according to their declarations, take control of strategic locations and facilitate the removal of President Maduro; whereas several investigations, including the one conducted by The Wall Street Journal, show that Operation Gideon was planned by Leopoldo López;

I. whereas in April 2020 the US deployed over 6 500 soldiers for a series of military exercises opposite the Venezuelan coast; whereas the Venezuelan Government and leading opposition figures considered these exercises an irresponsible provocation by the Trump administration;

J. whereas dialogue and respect of international law, including the principle of non-interference, are the basis for the peaceful settlement of conflicts and internal situations in all countries;

K. whereas forced displacement is a problem that affects the whole Latin American region; whereas Colombia has the highest number of internally displaced people in the world, with over 7.6 million; whereas the number of people leaving Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras in the so-called ‘migrant caravans’ continues to increase;

L. whereas the right to international protection is a fundamental human right enshrined in international law, which should not be instrumentalised or subject to political conditionality;

M. whereas it is estimated that 1 246 people died trying to reach the European Union in 2019; whereas the European Union and its Member States are currently returning people to countries with ongoing armed conflicts; whereas several international organisations have documented pushbacks at the European Union’s external borders and the return of people without due respect for their right to international protection;

1. Expresses its solidarity with the people of Venezuela given the social and economic challenges they face;

2. Expresses its condolences to the relatives and friends of the 54 people who have died of COVID-19 in Venezuela;

3. Regrets that the International Monetary Fund did not respond to the needs of the Venezuelan Government, which called for an emergency loan of USD 5 billion to strengthen the response capacity of the Venezuelan public healthcare system for the COVID-19 pandemic;

4. Welcomes the fact that several Venezuelan accounts abroad have been unblocked in order to mobilise funds to combat the pandemic; calls for all the funds and assets of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela outside the country to be immediately unblocked, particularly those in the EU;

5. Condemns the imposition of sanctions by the EU and the US and calls urgently for them to be lifted; notes that it is estimated that over 40 000 people have died since 2017 as a direct consequence of the sanctions imposed, which have limited Venezuela’s access to the international food and medicine markets;

6. Stresses that the sanctions imposed on Venezuela continue to inflict very serious harm on human life and health; takes the view that these sanctions fit the definition of collective punishment of the civilian population as described in both the Geneva and Hague international conventions, making them illegal under international law and treaties;

7. Condemns the threats issued by the US State Department and the governments of some EU Member States, such as the Trump administration’s call for the imposition of further sanctions, which have further inflamed the political situation in Venezuela;

8. Supports the efforts of democratic forces, the Venezuelan Government and the Venezuelan people to find answers to their political and economic challenges for themselves and to promote the strengthening of national dialogue in Venezuela;

9. Calls on the High Representative and the Member States to engage in constructive dialogue with the Venezuelan Government, led by President Nicolás Maduro Moros; calls on the High Representative and the Member States to support the efforts of the Roundtable for National Dialogue, which brings together democratic parties from the Venezuelan Government and the opposition, to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing situation within the frame of the Venezuelan Constitution;

10. Welcomes the agreement to promote diplomatic contacts between the European Union and Venezuela after the dialogue between the Venezuelan Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell;

11. Expects EU support to be delivered in line with the needs of the population and not geopolitical interests; calls on the European Union and its Member States to provide protection to people fleeing situations of serious harm to human life and health, regardless of their origin;

12. Recalls the commitments of the European Union towards internally displaced people in Colombia in the context of the Peace Agreements; recalls the humanitarian situation in other countries of the region, such as Haiti;

13. Calls on the European Union and its Member States to answer the UNHCR’s calls for adequate funding;

14. Calls on the European Union and its Member States to defend and promote the right to international protection, beginning with its own territory and legislation; calls for an immediate end to returns, the opening of safe and legal migration channels to the European Union, and the implementation of a resettlement scheme from areas affected by armed conflict and situations of humanitarian emergency;

15. Notes the impact of external sanctions on the economic difficulties experienced by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela; calls, therefore, on the UN General Assembly to restore the voting rights of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in accordance with Article 19 of the UN Charter, which states that Members may be permitted to vote if the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond their own control;

16. 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 of Venezuela and the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.


Last updated: 6 July 2020
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