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Situation in Venezuela

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 11849 | 19 March 2009

Mr Eduard KUKAN, Slovak Republic ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr József BERÉNYI, Slovak Republic ; Mr Laurent BÉTEILLE, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Roland BLUM, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Márton BRAUN, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Július BROCKA, Slovak Republic ; Mr Ferdinand DEVÍNSKY, Slovak Republic ; Mr Mátyás EÖRSI, Hungary, ALDE ; Mr Iván FARKAS, Slovak Republic ; Mr Marcel GLESENER, Luxembourg ; Mr John GREENWAY, United Kingdom ; Mr Francis GRIGNON, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Arlette GROSSKOST, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Ms Françoise HOSTALIER, France, EPP/CD ; Ms Francine JOHN-CALAME, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Frano MATUŠIĆ, Croatia, EPP/CD ; Mr José MENDES BOTA, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Maximilian REIMANN, Switzerland ; Mr Kimmo SASI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Ms Miet SMET, Belgium ; Mr Zoltán SZABÓ, Hungary ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

The Assembly,

Considering the Written Declaration No 396 (13 July 2007) condemning serious infringements of freedom of expression as evidenced with the closure of Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV) on 27 May 2007 signed by 22 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;

Considering the Written Declaration Number 416 (2 October 2008) condemning the arbitrary decision preventing opposition candidatures from registering as candidates in the regional elections of 23 November 2008 as well as the condemnation of the arrest in Venezuela of human rights activists such as Mr Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights’ Watch signed by 22 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe;

Considering that the European Parliament has adopted Resolutions in a similar vein reminding the Venezuelan Government of its duty to ensure respect for the rules of democracy, freedom of expression and freedom of thought;

Considering that the Warsaw Declaration, adopted by the 3rd Summit of the Council of Europe in May 2005, underlines its commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law not only in Europe but also strives for their achievement throughout the world,

Notes with regret:

  • that the situation in Venezuela has been further aggravated by threats to press freedom, the continued intimidation of journalists of Globovisión and other media outlets; the continuing arrests of human rights defenders including diplomatic influence exercised on Mr Lech Walesa prohibiting his presence at a meeting of Respekt in Venezuela to deal with human rights violations; and other regrettable infringements of democracy;
  • that new threats emerge such as the violent and illegal occupation of the premises of elected opposition leaders including Mr Antonio Ledezma, Major of Metropolitan Caracas, preventing them from adequately carrying out their duties.

Reminds the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela of their obligation to respect the Venezuelan Constitution and international instruments such as the Interamerican Democratic Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international obligations to support democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.

The Parliamentary Assembly must act to consolidate freedom and democracy and to avoid a further slide towards totalitarianism in Venezuela as outlined in the commitments adopted in the Warsaw Declaration.