S&Ds: EU must engage proactively to end Venezuelan crisis and seek a solution based on law

S&Ds: EU must engage proactively to end Venezuelan crisis and seek a solution based on law, Elena Valenciano, Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, Francisco Assis, Maduro government,

Ahead of today’s debate in the plenary on the situation in Venezuela, the S&D Group voiced concerns about the recent developments in the country and called on the EU and the international community to support dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition.

The Socialists and Democrats welcomed the decision of the Venezuelan Supreme Court to reverse the ruling that would strip the National Assembly of its legislative powers but remain alarmed at the persistent social and political tensions. The European Parliament will vote on a resolution later in April.

S&D vice-president Elena Valenciano MEP said:

“The international response has forced a u-turn on the attempt to limit the autonomy of the National Assembly – an encouraging signal on the effectiveness of the ongoing mediation. The EU must support those efforts that seek a solution to the Venezuelan conflict based on law. We demand that Venezuelan political forces scrupulously abide by the constitution.

“The electoral calendar must be defined and respected. Democracy must be enacted in order to save it; democracy is also needed for the economy to recover. Today in Venezuela there is shortage of basic food staples and medicines. Political leaders must be released in order to contribute to reconciliation and overcome confrontation, through dialogue and in a peaceful way.”

Ramón Jáuregui Atondo, S&D MEP and co-president of the EUROLAT Parliamentary Assembly, said:

“Last week’s events in Venezuela were worrying. The withdrawal of the National Assembly’s powers by means of a decision of the Supreme Court was unconstitutional and against the rule of law, and the international community unanimously denounced it. We welcome the fact that the Venezuelan political system corrected itself in time, but social and political tensions are running high and the risk of further escalations is still there.

“The European Parliament and the international community must keep on supporting the dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, as the only way of reaching a peaceful, democratic solution in Venezuela.”

Francisco Assis, S&D MEP and spokesperson on EUROLAT added:

“On March 29, the Supreme Court of Venezuela withdrew the powers of the National Assembly and assumed its functions, thereby ending the separation of powers in the country. Days later, after enormous international pressure, the Supreme Court reversed its ruling, trying to convince Venezuelans that it was only a kind of academic misunderstanding. The truth is that the Maduro government never accepted the result of the December 2015 elections and it manipulates Supreme Court as it sees fit.

“However, something is changing. Nicolas Maduro’s u-turn reveals that his strategy of antagonising the opposition has reached the limit and that the climate of political polarisation in Venezuela has reached such a point that it can only be resolved through elections. The EU should insist on the release of political prisoners and the scheduling of regional elections that should have already taken place.”