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:
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.