Press Releases EP Plenary: Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on the political disqualifications in Venezuela

EP Plenary: Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on the political disqualifications in Venezuela

Thank you, President, good evening, Honourable Members [of the European Parliament],

The lengthy political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela continues as the 2024 presidential elections approach.

And political negotiations in Mexico between the Maduro government and the opposition remain stalled.

Currently, the democratic opposition forces in Venezuela are preparing to hold primaries in October to elect a common candidate that can unite them in next year’s elections.

A recent decision by the Office of the Comptroller General bans the opposition leader, María Corina Machado, from all elected office for a 15-year period. She joins other disqualified opposition figures, including Henrique Capriles and Freddy Superlano.

This is a very worrying development.

The High Representative [/Vice-President, Josep Borrell] reacted swiftly with a statement expressing – and I quote: “deep concern with the decisions intended to prevent members of the opposition from exercising their core political rights. Such decisions undermine democracy, the rule of law and will only deepen the long-standing political and social crisis in Venezuela”.

The European Union stands by the people of Venezuela and supports them in their search for a peaceful and democratic solution, starting with credible, transparent and inclusive presidential elections next year.

The 23 recommendations of the EU Electoral Observation Mission aim to help Venezuelans improve the electoral process, including around political disqualifications by means of an administrative decision.

The European Union continues to call on the Venezuelan authorities to make full use of these recommendations and expresses its readiness to support their implementation. This is becoming urgent as the elections are just around the corner.

The European Union will keep closely follow the human rights situation in Venezuela, including the issue of political prisoners.

The European Union supports all international human rights mechanisms in place, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Caracas, the UN independent fact-finding mission, and the International Criminal Court.

The European Union will continue to work with international and regional partners in support of Venezuelan-led negotiations, building on efforts to seek an end to the political, socio-economic and humanitarian crisis. One clear example was the Bogotá Conference on Venezuela last April.

Only a Venezuelan-led, negotiated political solution will allow the restoration of democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights in Venezuela.

Thank you.

Link to the video (starting at 30:20):

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