European Parliament

01/14/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/14/2020 09:48

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Venezuela after the illegal election of the new National Assembly Presidency and Bureau (parliamentary coup) - B9-0053/2020

B9‑0053/2020

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Venezuela after the illegal election of the new National Assembly Presidency and Bureau (parliamentary coup)

(2020/2507(RSP))

The European Parliament,

- having regard to its previous resolutions on Venezuela, in particular those of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Venezuela[1], of 18 December 2014 on the persecution of the democratic opposition in Venezuela[2], of 12 March 2015 on the situation in Venezuela[3], of 8 June 2016 on the situation in Venezuela[4], of 27 April 2017 on the situation in Venezuela[5], of 8 February 2018 on the situation in Venezuela[6], of 3 May 2018 on the elections in Venezuela[7], of 5 July 2018 on the migration crisis and humanitarian situation in Venezuela and at its terrestrial borders with Colombia and Brazil[8], of 25 October 2018 on the situation in Venezuela[9], of 31 January 2019 on the situation in Venezuela[10], of 28 March 2019 on the emergency situation in Venezuela[11], and of 18 July 2019 on the situation in Venezuela[12],

- having regard to the declarations by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on Venezuela of 10 January 2019, 26 January 2019, 24 February 2019, 28 March 2019, 4 April 2019, 30 April 2019, 18 June 2019, 16 July 2019, 13 August 2019, 27 September 2019, 21 December 2019 and 9 January 2020, as well as those by the VP/HR's Spokesperson of 17 September 2019, 16 December 2019 and 5 January 2020,

- having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2019/1893 of 11 November 2019 amending Decision (CFSP) 2017/2074 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela[13], which renews the targeted restrictive measures currently in place until 14 November 2020,

- having regard to the Venezuelan Constitution,

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

- having regard to the report on Venezuela by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) of 4 July 2019,

- having regard to the Fifth International Technical Meeting of the Quito Process, held in Bogotá on 14 and 15 November 2019,

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

A. whereas under the Venezuelan Constitution, parliamentarians elect a Speaker for a one-year term on 5 January each year;

B. whereas the events surrounding the scheduled election of the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela on 5 January 2020 amounted to an orchestrated parliamentary coup d'état by the Maduro regime and an attack on the democratic and constitutional functioning of the National Assembly;

C. whereas the President of the Assembly, Juan Guaidó, was brutally prevented by security forces from chairing the session, several opposition parliamentarians were not allowed to enter the National Assembly and press access to the building was also blocked;

D. whereas Luis Parra, who was recently expelled from an opposition party over corruption allegations, declared himself the National Assembly Speaker and took part in an improvised and illegitimate swearing-in ceremony;

E. whereas the election of Luis Parra was invalid as the session was never formally opened, no quorum count was taken and no formal vote was called; whereas troops reviewed the credentials of each parliamentarian for over an hour as a strategy to delay the session and prevent the Assembly from reaching a quorum;

F. whereas a majority of parliamentarians held an emergency meeting some hours later at the headquarters of opposition newspaper El Nacional, at which 100 of the 167 Assembly members voted to re-elect Juan Guaidó as their leader for the final year of the 2015-2020 term;

G. whereas a formal sitting of the National Assembly on 7 January 2020 concluded with Juan Guaidó's swearing-in as president, despite attempts by forces loyal to Maduro's regime to prevent the session from taking place, including by obstructing the entrance to the building and cutting off electricity inside the building;

H. whereas the presidential elections held on 20 May 2018 were conducted in a manner that did not comply with the minimum international standards for a credible process; whereas the EU, together with other regional organisations and democratic countries, recognised neither the elections nor the authorities put in place by this illegitimate process;

I. whereas on 10 January 2019, Nicolás Maduro illegitimately usurped presidential power before the Supreme Court of Justice, in breach of the constitutional order; whereas on 23 January 2019, the legitimately and democratically elected President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, was sworn in as the interim President of Venezuela, in accordance with Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution;

J. whereas almost 60 countries, as well as the European Parliament, have recognised Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela;

K. whereas on 16 December 2019, the Venezuelan Supreme Court and the non-recognised Constituent Assembly stripped a further four members of the National Assembly - Jorge Millán, Hernán Alemán, Carlos Lozano and Luis Stefanelli - of their constitutionally granted parliamentary immunity, bringing the number of parliamentarians to have had their immunity lifted to 26; whereas this decision, which followed the Supreme Court's request on the basis of accusations by the Attorney- General, is a serious violation of the constitutional provisions, the rule of law and the democratic principle of the separation of powers;

L. whereas the ongoing actions against Members of the National Assembly, including the harassment and intimidation of 59 Members by irregular groups and security bodies, 29 arbitrary detentions and 27 forced exiles, are hampering the constitutional work of the National Assembly;

M. whereas the situation of human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Venezuela has been deteriorating severely for many years, and in particular since Nicolás Maduro came to power following contested elections in 2013; whereas the political, economic, institutional, social and multidimensional humanitarian crises in the country are significantly worsening; 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;

1. Strongly condemns the parliamentary coup by the Maduro regime and the fact that the National Assembly, as the legitimate democratic body of Venezuela, is being prevented from carrying out the mandate it has received from the Venezuelan people;

2. Deplores these grave violations that are incompatible with the legitimate election process for the President of the National Assembly and constitute a further step in the worsening Venezuelan crisis;

3. Congratulates Juan Guaidó on his re-election as President of the National Assembly, despite all the impediments and obstructions faced during the formal sitting on 7 January, including having to force his way into the building along with other fellow Members;

4. Reiterates its full support for Juan Guaidó as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution, as stated in Article 233 thereof;

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

6. Insists that a peaceful and political solution can only be achieved if the National Assembly, the only democratically elected body in Venezuela, is fully respected and its members are able to carry out their constitutional prerogatives freely;

7. Points out that any dialogue must be based on the roadmap adopted by the National Assembly of Venezuela; insists that the main purpose of dialogue must be a peaceful transition to democracy through the creation of conditions leading to free, transparent and credible presidential elections based on a fixed calendar, fair conditions for all actors, transparency and the presence of credible international observers;

8. Recalls that the organisation of free and credible internationally monitored presidential elections and the democratic re-establishment of state institutions, including the National Electoral Council (CNE) and the Supreme Court of Justice, are essential for a lasting solution in Venezuela;

9. Stresses that it is of paramount importance that the National Assembly establishes a new, independent and transparent National Electoral Council (CNE) that is fully inclusive and balanced in its representation and composition;

10. Recalls that respecting democratic institutions and principles and upholding the rule of law are essential conditions for finding a peaceful and sustainable solution to the crisis in Venezuela for the benefit of its people;

11. Recalls that the EU stands ready to support a genuine process that leads to a peaceful and democratic resolution of the crisis;

12. Calls on the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to step up the EU's response to restoring democracy in Venezuela, including through the extension of targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for human rights violations and repression, and through extending these sanctions to their family members;

13. Considers that the diplomatic representation named by Juan Guaidó, as the legitimate interim President of Venezuela, should be the only representation recognised by the EU; demands therefore that any diplomatic credentials for missions attached to Nicolás Maduro and his anti-democratic government be suspended;

14. 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 President of the 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.