The only way out for Venezuela is by calling elections, and the EU will mediate to make it happen, say S&Ds

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Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today backed a joint resolution negotiated with other political groups on the situation in Venezuela. The European Parliament recognises Juan Guaidó as legitimate interim president and demands the setting up of an international contact group that would act as mediator and observer to call free, transparent and credible elections. 
 
Ramón Jáuregui MEP, who co-chairs the EU-Latin America Parliamentary Assembly and has negotiated the resolution on behalf of the S&D Group, said:
“The EU has a great capacity to influence, and it will use this leverage to find a peaceful and agreed solution to the Venezuelan crisis. The main thing is to avoid the use of violence. Unfortunately, Nicolás Maduro did not respond to the EU’s call for elections, and we now build up pressure by recognising Guaidó as a legitimate interlocutor.
“Beyond diplomatic recognitions, what is important here is to start an agreed-upon electoral process. Elections are the only way out for Venezuela and the State remains under the control of Nicolás Maduro.
“In the resolution adopted today, S&Ds insisted on the need to set up a ‘contact group’ that will act as observer and guarantor of the process. The EU has all the democratic experience to facilitate a free and transparent process. Our role will be crucial along with countries like Uruguay and Mexico to achieve a peaceful solution.” 
 
S&D vice-president for Foreign Affairs and Latin America, Elena Valenciano MEP, said:
“Today the Parliament took one step for the European Union to reach an agreement and to support the beginning of a political process leading to legitimate and constitutional presidential elections. I am sure that the EU ministers of foreign affairs will back the initiative of the Parliament and that the contact group will materialise soon.
“We hope that this journey back to the Venezuela Constitution will happen in peace and without violence.
“We support the efforts of the EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, to maintain a constructive diplomatic position in search of solutions, and in cooperation with our Latin American partners in the region.
“Our Group on this day wants to ask again for the liberation of political leaders held in prison.”

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