EU adds 19 officials to list of sanctions: Venezuela
Nineteen leading Venezuelan officials have been added to the EU’s list of sanctions concerning Venezuela based on their role in acts and decisions undermining democracy and the rule of law in the country, or as a result of serious human rights violations: yesterday a Council CFSP Decision (2021/276) and Implementing Regulation (2021/275) were published making the relevant amendments.
These measures amend CFSP Decision 2017/2074 and Regulation 2017/2063 respectively (by which sanctions were first applied in 2017), and respond specifically to the conditions in which the Venezuelan elections of 6 December 2020 for the National Assembly were carried out. As a result of the elections, pro-incumbent President Maduro parties obtained two thirds of the votes and a New National Assembly was sworn in on 5 January 2021. Up until then, the legislative body had been controlled by the opposition led by Juan Guaidó, who was detained along with other political prisoners.
The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs declared in December 2020 and January 2021 that the process showed a failure ‘to comply with the minimum international standards for a credible process, and failed to mobilise the Venezuelan people to participate’ and that ‘this lack of respect for political pluralism and the disqualification, and prosecution, of opposition leaders precluded the Union from recognising this electoral process as credible, inclusive or transparent, and its results as representative of the will of the Venezuelan people’.
The additions to the list reflect the position of the above Declarations and the Council’s subsequent conclusions of 25 January 2021 that the EU would adopt additional targeted measures ‘in view of the deteriorating situation in Venezuela’.
The 19 additions mean that there are now 55 individuals on the EU’s list of sanctions.
In a related Council press release it was stated that the EU will continue to ‘promote peaceful dialogue and a democratic and sustainable solution’. It was also emphasised that such measures are ‘designed not to have adverse humanitarian effects’ for the Venezuelan population.