S&Ds call on the Venezuelan government to free political prisoners and to agree on an electoral calendar with the opposition

Date

13 Sep 2017

Sections

Global Europe

Press release

Tonight the European Parliament will debate on the deep crisis in Venezuela. Again, the Socialists and Democrats will call for the liberation of political prisoners and free elections that will reinstall the rule of law and people’s sovereignty.

S&D MEP Ramón Jáuregui, who co-chairs the EU-Latin America Assembly (Eurolat), said:

“The European Parliament doesn’t recognise the new National Constituent Assembly because we believe that the legitimate power in Venezuela lies with the people, and the people chose the National Assembly two years ago. This is a red line established by the European Parliament, and therefore we think that the rule of law has been infringed. We keep asking the government to free political prisoners and return power to the Legislative Assembly.”

 “We also believe that dialogue between the government and the opposition is needed to establish an electoral timetable allowing for free elections, for a peaceful and democratic way forward, and for the Venezuelan people to be heard. If this doesn’t happen we will request the EU High Representative to impose sanctions on those persons in the government who are violating human rights.”

S&D MEP Francisco Assis, chair of the Mercosur delegation in the European Parliament, said:

“Since the beginning of this European Parliamentary term, the situation in Venezuela has been deteriorating; from the constant disrespect of the rule of law and personal freedoms, to the social and economic problems that have worsened every day in the Venezuelan society. During this time, the European Parliament has tried to work as a partner to the Venezuelan government and the opposition, appealing to dialogue, trying to contribute by decreasing tensions and offering humanitarian and political help.
 
“All this has been refused, ignored and also received with hostility by Mr. Maduro’s government, ending in the process of the constitutive assembly elections that was done against the recommendation of a large majority of the international partners and was rejected by all European Union member states.
 
“If the Venezuelan Government does not change their position on this and all the previous matters, I believe that the moment has come for the European Parliament to adopt an even harder position.”

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