EU has decided to apply additional targeted measures against seven members of the security and intelligence forces of Venezuela
The people of Venezuela continue to face a dramatic situation. The regional impact of the crisis is unprecedented, with severe risks for regional stability. On the political front, the dismantlement of institutional checks and balances has eroded democracy and the rule of law, while repression, including against members of the National Assembly, and serious human rights violations take place with impunity. This grave situation, as reported by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN HCHR), cannot be ignored.
In this context, and as stated in its Declaration of 16 July, the EU has decided to apply additional targeted measures against seven members of the security and intelligence forces involved in torture and other serious human rights violations. The EU reaffirms its backing for the UN HCHR in her efforts to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Venezuelans. In this respect it supports the steps taken towards ensuring a permanent presence of OHCHR in Venezuela and the free access of UN Special procedures to the country. The EU underlines the need to fully implement the totality of the recommendations from the UN HCHR report.
The EU expresses its concern at the temporary suspension of the Oslo facilitated talks and calls on the parties to return to an inclusive, credible and serious negotiation on the basis of the previously agreed agenda. The EU reiterates its willingness to contribute to promote the enabling conditions for such a process, through the International Contact Group, including by working with other relevant actors in the international community to provide a supporting framework.
A negotiated transition leading to transparent and internationally monitored presidential elections, the reinstitution of the public powers and a package of guarantees enabling political coexistence are essential elements to overcome the crisis.
The EU confirms its readiness to work on further targeted measures to foster such a negotiated transition. At the same time it recalls that its targeted restrictive measures do not affect the population and can be reversed in light of progress made towards the restoration of democracy, rule of law and human rights in Venezuela.
In the meantime, addressing the humanitarian and social emergency in Venezuela is urgent and long overdue. The EU considers vital the increase and acceleration of a coordinated assistance, both inside and outside the country. In this context, the EU will hold an International Solidarity Conference on the Venezuelan Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Brussels end of October. This initiative will be co-hosted with UNHCR and IOM, in close articulation with the Quito process.
Venezuela: EU adds 7 members of the security and intelligence forces to sanctions list
The Council has added 7 members of the Venezuelan security and intelligence forces under restrictive measures. The measures include a travel ban and an asset freeze. The persons listed are involved in torture and other serious violations of human rights. Four of them are linked to the death of Captain Acosta Arévalo.
Today’s decision brings to 25 the total number of individuals under sanctions in view of the situation in Venezuela. It is a direct follow-up to the declaration issued by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on 16 July 2019 where the EU indicated that it was ready to start work towards applying targeted measures for those members of the security forces involved in torture and other serious violations of human rights.
The declaration underlined that the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed in a clear and detailed manner the extent and seriousness of the human rights violations, the erosion of the rule of law and the dismantlement of democratic institutions in the country. Moreover, the declaration mentioned the tragic death of Captain Acosta Arévalo while in custody of the Venezuelan security forces as a stark example of the continued deterioration of the human rights situation..
Restrictive measures by the EU on Venezuela were introduced in November 2017. They include an embargo on arms and on equipment for internal repression as well as a travel ban and an asset freeze on listed individuals. These restrictive measures are intended to foster a peaceful, political and democratic solution, through credible, transparent and internationally monitored presidential elections, leading to the restoration of democracy, rule of law and human rights in Venezuela. They are flexible and reversible and designed not to harm the Venezuelan population. (Source : Council of the European Union)