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Spurious manipulation of human rights against Venezuela not becoming of European Parliament

In a European Parliament debate this morning on the alleged 'persecution of the democratic opposition in Venezuela', placed on the agenda by the right-wing of the house, Spanish GUE/NGL MEP Javier Couso called the resolution an “instrumentalisation of human rights principles for political purposes”.

He continued: “The Venezuelan right have tried everything: a coup d'état, a media war, and constant attempts to destabilise the government.”

“While the right bemoan the prosecution of those who incited this year's violence, they ignore the victims of that violence,” said Couso, referring to the 43 people who have been killed and 878 wounded as a result of opposition violence between February and June.

“You can lie but you cannot prevent Venezuelans following their democratic path,” he told the house.

Greek MEP Kostas Chrysogonos said the reaction and report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein are being used selectively: “We've seen bloody violence this year directed against President Maduro. If we are going to talk about human rights abuses we need to look at human rights abuses right here in Europe, particularly those committed since the beginning of the crisis, in countries like Greece.”

“The violent destruction of public buildings, the burning of a public nursery, shootings – anyone who has encouraged such events should face consequences,” said Portuguese MEP Inês Zuber. “The victims of these acts are those who have died, those who were injured, their families and friends. These are the people who deserve our support and sympathy.”

She continued: “Serious crimes have been committed and are being dealt with by a sovereign democratic country; this should be respected instead of treated with the kind of neo-colonial arrogance we've heard in this chamber this morning. Sadly, some groups of this Parliament are instrumentalising human rights in order to patronise a political tendency in Venezuela that has repeatedly tried to gain access to power through illegitimate means.”

MEPs from different groups have signed a declaration on this issue which is available here. It calls for the defence of the victims of violence, respect for international law and recognition of the efforts of the Venezuelan government to preserve democracy and social peace, together with the participation of the non-coupist opposition.

The MEP signatories from the GUE/NGL group at time of publication are below, several Green/EFA MEPs also signed.

Marina ALBIOL

Javier COUSO

Kostas CHRYSOGONOS

Fabio DE MASI

João FERREIRA

Luke 'Ming' FLANAGAN

Eleonora FORENZA

Emmanouil GLEZOS

Takis HADJIGEORGIOU

Josu JUARISTI

George KATROUGALOS

Marisa MATIAS

Jean-Luc MÉLENCHON

Dimitros PAPADIMOULIS

Sofia SAKORAFA

Helmut SCHOLZ

Neoklis SYLIKIOTIS

Miguel VIEGAS

Inês ZUBER

GUE/NGL Press:

David Lundy +32 470 85 05 09
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20