Procedure : 2019/2952(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0215/2020

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<TitreSuite>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</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the migration and refugee crisis</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Dita Charanzová, Jordi Cañas, Barry Andrews, Petras Auštrevičius, Stéphane Bijoux, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Sylvie Brunet, Olivier Chastel, Martina Dlabajová, Billy Kelleher, Moritz Körner, Nathalie Loiseau, Javier Nart, Nicolae Dragoș Pîslaru, Samira Rafaela, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>


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


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 situation in Venezuela after the illegal election of the new National Assembly Presidency and Bureau (parliamentary coup)[1],

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

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

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

 having regard to UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet’s Human Rights Report on Venezuela of 2 July 2020,

 having regard to the joint press release of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of 1 April 2020 on the situation of refugees and migrants from Venezuela during the COVID-19 crisis,

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

 having regard to the statement of 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 statement 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 Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/898 of 29 June 2020 amending Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela[2], which added 11 leading Venezuelan officials to the list of those subject to restrictive measures,

 having regard to the Venezuelan Constitution,

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

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

A. whereas on 26 May 2020, the European Union and the Government of Spain, with the support of the UNHCR and the IOM, convened an International Donors Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants; whereas international donors pledged a total of EUR 2.544 billion, but only EUR 595 million in direct grants, the rest being simply conditional loans; whereas during the conference some of the borrowers expressed their concerns about the bureaucratic difficulties and the complicated regulatory frameworks for obtaining the loans; whereas the EUR 595 million will barely reach the level needed to cope with the annual consequences of such an unprecedented crisis in the neighbouring countries;

B. whereas around five million Venezuelans have fled the country; whereas according to the UNHCR, the Venezuelan refugee crisis is the second biggest in the world after Syria; whereas it is expected that by the end of 2020, the total number of people fleeing the worsening conditions in Venezuela will exceed 6.5 million;

C. whereas the already dire political, economic, institutional, social and multidimensional humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has significantly worsened and become aggravated during the pandemic; whereas increased 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; whereas the Venezuelan national health system has been significantly weakened due to mishandling by the regime, resulting in critical shortages of medicine and a lack of medical treatments; whereas the figures on COVID-19 provided by the regime lack credibility and do not enjoy the trust of the domestic, as well the international, community;

D. whereas the current global public health emergency has compounded an already desperate situation for many refugees and migrants from Venezuela, and for their host countries; whereas according to the initial reports about the pandemic overwhelming the country’s debilitated healthcare system, hospitals are filled with coronavirus patients and dozens of health workers have been infected;

E. whereas on 26 May 2020, the illegitimate Venezuelan Supreme Court controlled by Nicolás Maduro’s regime unjustifiably ratified Mr Luis Parra as President of the National Assembly; whereas the illegal session which took place in January 2020 respected neither legal procedure nor democratic constitutional principles by preventing, in some cases by force, the large majority of democratically elected representatives from being present during the session and consequently from casting their votes; whereas the illegal decision emanating from this illegitimate body, among other recent antidemocratic actions, has led the Council of the EU to impose sanctions on an additional 11 of the officials responsible, including Luis Parra and Juan Jose Mendoza, President of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court;

F. whereas on 13 June 2020, the illegitimate Supreme Court appointed new members to the National Electoral Council (CNE) without any legal power to do so; whereas according to 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 the citizens of Venezuela; whereas the European Parliament will not recognise any decision or ruling unilaterally taken by these illegitimate bodies; whereas the officials responsible for these decisions have also been included on the Council’s sanctions list;

G. whereas Nicolás Maduro ordered the European Union’s ambassador to leave the country within 72 hours of the EU imposing targeted sanctions on several officials responsible for serious human rights breaches, and whereas he also threatened the ambassador of Spain with further reprisals; whereas in May 2020, there were reports of acts of harassment against the French embassy in Caracas, including by cutting off water and electricity supplies to the ambassador’s residence;

H. whereas the Maduro regime has lashed out against the political parties Acción Democratica, Primero Justicia and Un Nuevo Tiempo by means of systematic persecution through rulings of the illegitimate Supreme Court of Justice, stripping the parties of their current national boards of directors against the will of their members; whereas the democratic political party Voluntad Popular was designated as a terrorist organisation by Maduro’s regime;

I. whereas the international community, including the European Union, has firmly rejected this electoral farce and illegal actions; whereas this action has further reduced the democratic space in the country to the bare minimum and has created major obstacles to the resolution of the political crisis in Venezuela; whereas the formation of a balanced and inclusive national emergency government, comprising all democratic political and social sectors of the country and able to address current humanitarian needs, is essential in order to overcome the escalating crisis; whereas Mr Maduro cannot be part of such a transitional government;

J. whereas respecting international standards, an independent and balanced CNE and a level playing field ensuring the unimpeded participation of political parties and candidates represent the cornerstones of a credible electoral process, enabling free and fair legislative and presidential elections;

K. whereas the number of political prisoners has increased since mass civil unrest began in 2014, and currently stands at more than 430; whereas 11 Europeans are also reportedly being detained in Venezuela; whereas many accounts of torture by the regime are currently under preliminary examination by the ICC for crimes against humanity; whereas repression, arbitrary detentions and torture have increased during the COVID-19 crisis;

L. whereas the Maduro regime has failed to provide transparent information, accept international humanitarian assistance and give priority to the needs and rights of the most vulnerable segments of the population;

M. whereas High Commissioner Bachelet’s report on Venezuela of 2 July 2020 documents the continuing deterioration of human rights in Venezuela; whereas the report makes it clear that the Maduro regime continues to torture, terrorise and kill political opponents, having documented over 1 300 extrajudicial killings by the security forces between 1 January and 31 May 2020;

N. whereas the Maduro regime has, since 2016, supported illegal artisanal gold mining in the Venezuelan Amazon to finance irregular armed groups; whereas the gold has been smuggled out of the country through irregular channels to be sold and exchanged illicitly abroad; whereas this so-called blood gold is extracted and exploited at the expense of human rights and the environment under illegal and criminal conditions which seriously threaten both;

O. whereas the Cuban police force and military intelligence service are a strategic component of the systematic repression employed against the Venezuelan population that helps the Maduro regime to persist in power;

P. whereas effective actions are needed to stop the security threat to the wider region constitutes by the alliance between Mr Maduro’s dictatorial regime, terrorist groups and organised armed groups carrying out their criminal activities in Venezuela;

1. Reiterates its deep concerns at the severe emergency of the humanitarian situation, which is profoundly endangering the lives of Venezuelans; draws attention to the heightened migratory crisis across the entire region and praises the efforts undertaken and the solidarity shown by neighbouring countries;

2. Welcomes the pledges and efforts of the International Donors Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants; considers that the largest amount of pledges consisting of loans instead of direct grants does not meet the intended goals; calls for the conditions and rules for borrowers to obtain access to such loans must be flexible and transparent, thereby creating the conditions for a swift distribution of the credits;

3. Insists on the urgency of the pledged funds reaching their destination so that they can be used on the ground without delay; calls, in this context, for a reduction in bureaucracy and a simplified framework that can ensure the pledges reach those who are in desperate need as soon as possible;

4. Draws attention to the worsening migratory crisis across the entire region, including the Caribbean territories of EU Member States, aggravated by the extremely difficult circumstances brought about by the pandemic; asks the Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to continue cooperating with these countries and territories, not only by providing humanitarian assistance but also by providing more resources and through development policy;

5. Strongly rejects the violations of the democratic, constitutional and transparent functioning of the National Assembly, as well as the acts of intimidation and violence, and the arbitrary decisions taken against its Members; denounces the undemocratic appointment of new members to the CNE and the stripping of parties of their current boards of directors against the will of their members;

6. 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;

7. Reiterates its full support to the National Assembly, which is the only legitimately elected democratic body left in Venezuela and whose powers need to be respected, including the prerogatives, immunity 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;

8. Underlines that fair, transparent and credible elections cannot take place with Mr Maduro in power; 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; urgently calls, therefore, for the creation of conditions leading to free, transparent and credible presidential and legislative elections based on a fixed calendar, fair conditions for all actors involved in the process, transparency and the presence of credible international observers as the only way out of the crisis;

9. Welcomes the recent Council decision extending the targeted sanctions to 11 additional individuals, which does not harm the Venezuelan population, and calls for these sanctions to be strengthened and expanded; considers that the EU authorities must restrict the movements of these individuals, as well as of their closest relatives, and freeze their assets and visas as a result of the sanctions; further calls for an immediate ban on the trade in and circulation of blood gold from Venezuela in the EU;

10. Recalls that the Member States are legally bound by Council Decision 2017/2074 and are under an obligation to implement the restrictive measures contained therein, notably the prevention of the entry into, or transit through, their territories of the persons to whom the restrictive measures apply, as well as an obligation to notify the Council immediately in writing of any exemptions they have granted;

11. Strongly regrets Mr Maduro’s threats to expel the EU ambassador from Caracas as a form of retaliation for the sanctions imposed on 11 officials responsible for serious human rights violations; takes note of the negotiations undertaken by the VP/HR that led to the decision being revoked;

12. Calls, nevertheless, on the Member States and the EEAS to revoke the diplomatic accreditation of the ambassadors of the Maduro regime and to accredit diplomatic representatives appointed by President Guaidó instead;

13. 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; calls further for the return of those unfairly placed under forced exile;

14. Fully supports the ICC investigations into the extensive crimes and acts of repression perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime; urges the European Union to support the initiative of the ICC States Parties to open an investigation into crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime, thereby holding those responsible to account;

15. Welcomes the decision of the British Court of 2 July 2020, which unequivocally recognises the democratic legitimacy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the person of its President Juan Guaidó by giving him legal access to the Republic’s gold reserves;

16. Condemns the interference of Cuba in the security and secret services in Venezuela and the exporting of repressive techniques;

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 Organization of American States.


[1] Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0013.

[2] OJ L 205 I, 29.6.2020, p. 6.

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