Motion for a resolution - B9-0065/2021Motion for a resolution
B9-0065/2021

    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the latest developments in the National Assembly of Venezuela

    18.1.2021 - (2021/2508(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

    Jordi Cañas, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Nicola Danti, Klemen Grošelj, Moritz Körner, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Javier Nart, Samira Rafaela, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans, Adrián Vázquez Lázara
    on behalf of the Renew Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0056/2021

    Procedure : 2021/2508(RSP)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    B9-0065/2021
    Texts tabled :
    B9-0065/2021
    Votes :
    Texts adopted :

    B9‑0065/2021

    European Parliament resolution on the latest developments in the National Assembly of Venezuela

    (2021/2508(RSP))

    The European Parliament,

     having regard to its previous resolutions on Venezuela, in particular those of 16 January 2020 on the situation in Venezuela after the illegal election of the new National Assembly Presidency and Bureau (parliamentary coup)[1] and of 10 July 2020 on the humanitarian situation in Venezuela and the migration and refugee crisis[2],

     having regard to the declarations on behalf of the European Union by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 6 January 2021 on Venezuela and on the elections of 6 December 2020 for the National Assembly and of 7 December 2020 on Venezuela and on the elections of 6 December 2020 for the National Assembly, and to the previous statements by the Spokesperson of 4 and 16 June 2020 on the latest developments on Venezuela,

     having regard to the statement by the International Contact Group of 8 December 2020 on the Venezuelan National Assembly elections held on 6 December 2020 and of 16 June 2020 that rejected as illegitimate the designation of the new National Electoral Council (CNE) directive by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ),

     having regard to the statement of the Lima group of 5 January 2021 on the worsening political crisis 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 first report of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela published on 16 September 2020,

     having regard to the Organization of American States (OAS) report of 2 December 2020, entitled ‘Fostering Impunity: The Impact of the Failure of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to Open an Investigation Into the Possible Commission of Crimes Against Humanity in Venezuela’, which reaffirms that there is a reasonable basis to conclude the regime of Nicolás Maduro has been committing crimes against humanity in Venezuela since 12 February 2014 and condemns the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for inaction in the face of these crimes,

     having regard to the report of January 2021 by the CASLA Institute entitled ‘Crimes against humanity, systematic repression and torture in Venezuela: responsibility of the Cuban regime’,

     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[3], 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 illegal and illegitimate parliamentary elections were held in Venezuela on 6 December 2020, which failed to comply with minimum international standards and showed no respect for basic democratic principles such as political pluralism, transparency and the rule of law;

    B. whereas the opposition parties that make up the Democratic Unity Roundtable coalition unanimously agreed not to participate in the election given that the conditions for holding free and fair elections were not in place; whereas 27 political parties signed the agreement, including the four largest opposition parties Popular Will, Justice First, Democratic Action and A New Era;

    C. whereas the international community, comprising the European Union, the International Contact Group, the Lima Group and the United States rejected the holding of parliamentary elections in 2020 owing to the complete lack of the conditions to ensure that such elections would be free and fair, denounced this electoral farce and have not recognised the results; whereas these illegal elections have further reduced the democratic space in the country to the bare minimum and have created major obstacles to the resolution of the political crisis in Venezuela;

    D. whereas on 13 June 2020, the illegitimate TSJ appointed new members to the CNE without any legal power to do so; whereas, in accordance with 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 Venezuelan people; whereas the international community has not recognised any decision or ruling that has been unilaterally taken by these illegitimate bodies; whereas the officials responsible for these decisions have also been included on the Council’s sanctions list;

    E. whereas the electoral abstention rate was higher than 80 % and therefore the rejection of the elections by the Venezuelan people is evident;

    F. whereas in July 2020, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, headed by Michelle Bachelet, found that ‘the decisions of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice diminish the possibility to build conditions for democratic and credible electoral processes’ and that they ‘appoint new National Electoral Council rectors without the consensus of all the political forces’;

    G. whereas on 16 September 2020 the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela issued its first report stating that the Venezuelan state must hold to account those responsible for extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions and torture, and prevent further acts of this nature from taking place;

    H. whereas as a result of political, human rights and socio-economic developments, people are continuing to leave Venezuela in order to escape violence, insecurity and threats, as well as the lack of food, medicine and essential services; whereas with over six million Venezuelans living abroad, the vast majority in countries within Latin America and the Caribbean, this has become one of the largest displacement crises in the world;

    I. whereas in January 2021, Swiss prosecutors identified bank accounts containing some USD 10.1 billion in suspicious funds linked to the Maduro regime, which are believed to have come from embezzled public funds in Venezuela; whereas since 2019, Swiss prosecutors have found more than 100 accounts in 30 banks; whereas the regime has, furthermore, been resorting to the exploitation of gold mines, with extraction and exploitation taking place under illegal and criminal conditions that jeopardise both human rights and the environment, in order to sell gold abroad illicitly as a crucial source of revenue; whereas these transactions are being made without any benefits to the increasingly impoverished Venezuelans themselves;

    J. whereas Parliament, through its resolution of 31 January 2019, recognised Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim president of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution;

    K. whereas on 26 December 2020, the legitimate National Assembly of 2015 proceeded to pass legislation in order to extend its constitutional and administrative mandate for one year until free, fair, verifiable and democratic elections could be held in Venezuela;

    L. whereas the most recent report published by the CASLA Institute on 14 January 2021 provides evidence of the strategic planning of systematic repression and the continued crimes against humanity committed by the regime, and reveals new patterns of torture, the increase in illegal clandestine detention and torture centres, and the interference of other states in the instigation and execution of such crimes; whereas this report also highlights the inhumane conditions in which political prisoners are held underground and exposed to continuous physical and psychological torture, which does not meet the minimum standards of the Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council in its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977;

    M. whereas there is ample evidence of the direct involvement and support of the Cuban authorities in the systematic repression of the Venezuelan population that helps the Maduro regime to remain in power;

    1. Rejects the illegal and illegitimate parliamentary elections organised on 6 December 2020 by the dictatorial regime of Nicolás Maduro and reiterates that the electoral process neither complied with international accepted conditions and standards, nor with Venezuelan laws, nor was it free and fair, and nor did it represent the will of the Venezuelan people;

    2. Recognises neither the legitimacy nor the legality of the National Assembly installed on 5 January 2021 on the basis of these non-democratic elections;

    3. Reaffirms its position in continuing to recognise the mandate of the legitimate National Assembly of Venezuela, elected in December 2015, which was the last free expression of Venezuelans in an electoral process, as well as the legitimate President of the National Assembly and the legitimate interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaidó;

    4. Calls on the Council and the Member States also to recognise the constitutional continuation of the legitimate National Assembly of Venezuela elected in 2015 and the legitimate interim President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó;

    5. Calls for a Contact Group between Members of the European Parliament and the democratically elected representatives of the National Assembly to be set up in order to facilitate regular contacts with the democratic forces in Venezuela;

    6. Reiterates that the only sustainable solution to the multidimensional crisis in Venezuela, which has an impact on the entire region, is a political, peaceful and democratic way forward, involving credible, inclusive, free, fair and transparent presidential, parliamentary, regional and local elections that respect international standards, with guarantees for a level playing field and for the unimpeded participation of all political parties, and held under objective international observation; considers that for these elections to take place peacefully, the international community must work together with the Venezuelan political forces to seek ways to monitor and disarm the armed civilian groups and security and intelligence agencies that act outside the law;

    7. Reiterates its deep concern at the severity of the humanitarian emergency, which poses a profound threat to the lives of Venezuelans, and which is being exacerbated further by the COVID-19 pandemic; draws attention to the alarming migratory crisis and its spill-over effects across the entire region and praises the efforts and solidarity shown by neighbouring countries;

    8. Condemns the most recent crackdown on the freedom of expression perpetrated by the regime and the closure of newspapers and media outlets that are not politically aligned with the Maduro regime;

    9. Denounces the threats made by the Vice-President of the illegally constituted National Assembly, Iris Varela, to the effect that she will order the arrest and prosecution of members of the opposition and the President Juan Guaidó, as well as the confiscation of their assets and the revocation of their citizenship;

    10. Welcomes the recent Council decision of June 2020 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 immediately; considers that the EU authorities must consequently restrict the movements of the individuals on that list, as well as those of their closest relatives, and freeze their assets and visas; further calls for an immediate ban on the trade in and circulation of blood gold from Venezuela in the EU;

    11. 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;

    12. 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.

     

    Last updated: 19 January 2021
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