eu-sanctions 02 July 2020

Caracas expels EU ambassador following new Venezuela sanctions

The Venezuelan government has expelled the European Union’s ambassador to the country following the EU’s addition of 11 names to its Venezuela restrictive measures (sanctions) list on 29 June.

The Council of the EU said it had added the 11 ‘leading Venezuelan officials to the list of those subject to restrictive measures, because of their role in acts and decisions undermining democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela,’ claiming that those added ‘are responsible notably for acting against the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, including by stripping the parliamentary immunity of several members of its members, not least its president, Juan Guaidó.’

The Council added: ‘Actions motivating the decision for listing also include initiating politically motivated prosecutions and creating obstacles to a political and democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela, as well as serious violations of human rights and restrictions of fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of press and speech.’

The following day, the EU said in a statement: ‘On 29 June, the Maduro regime announced that the EU Ambassador had 72 hours to leave the country. The EU firmly condemns this decision and profoundly regrets the further international isolation that will result. We call for this decision to be reversed.

‘The deep political and socio-economic crisis Venezuela is currently experiencing can only be addressed through a peaceful and negotiated solution among Venezuelans. This solution must be based on credible elections, the recognition and respect of the role and independence of all democratically elected institutions, notably the National Assembly, the release of all political prisoners and the upholding of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The EU reaffirms its commitments to support the Venezuelan people and contribute to resolve the political crisis and alleviate the suffering of the population through its humanitarian assistance.’