European Union Demands Release of “Political Prisoners”

The EU’s parliament passed a resolution this week calling for the immediate release of Venezuela’s political prisoners while further meddling in the South American nation’s domestic economic and political affairs.

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The EU's legislative body met on Wednesday passing a resolution addressing Venezuela's current political and economic climate (DPA).
The EU's legislative body met on Wednesday passing a resolution addressing Venezuela's current political and economic climate (DPA).
By Jeanette Charles
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Caracas, June 9th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) - The European Union reached a non-binding resolution Wednesday calling for the immediate release of Venezuela’s “political prisoners”.

The bloc also criticized the Venezuelan government for allegedly not respecting the nation’s constitution nor procedures to allow a recall referendum despite the opposition’s collecting of 1.3 million signatures last month to begin the process. The parliament also expressed its plans to send a delegation to Venezuela to facilitate a national dialogue.

The resolution was passed with 501 votes in favor, 94 against and 73 abstentions. The EU purports that its objective is meant to find a “constructive solution” to the “deteriorating” situation in Venezuela.

The parliament’s main parties decided on the resolution’s content and rejected amendments proposed by left-leaning parties Podemos and Izquierda Unida (IU). "We [Podemos] have abstained because...no other proposals from other groups have been allowed, including our own," responded Tania González, Podemos representative. González continued calling the resolution a "ploy" to distract from European nations' internal problems. 

Meanwhile, IU voted against the resolution. The party's representative, Javier Couso, defended IU's decision declaring the resolution "full of falseness". Couso agrees that "dialogue is the way, but always within the respect of sovereignty."

The EU bloc's resolution names opposition leaders such as Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma and Daniel Ceballos, among the 2,000 people they allege are under house arrest, in prison or on probation for political reasons. The three named above are notorious for their direct ties to the US Embassy and meticulously orchestrated violence against the Venezuelan people.

In their statement, the EU also highlights what it refers to as a “serious humanitarian crisis” in Venezuela citing the lack of access to certain food and medicines in addition to national rationing of water and electricity use. The EU suggests that the Venezuelan government has prevented humanitarian aid coming into the country because of “inefficient governance, and to high crime rates due to impunity.”

In response to their concerns over the South American nation’s economy, the European bloc called for President Nicolás Maduro to craft economic reforms together with the opposition-led National Assembly. The EU also tasked foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to draft an assistance plan for Venezuela.

“A solution to the crisis can only be found through dialogue with all levels of government, democratic opposition and society”,  the EU continued in their statement celebrating UNASUR’s present mediation efforts. In recent days, former Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero who is part of the leadership of these efforts also visited López in prison, the first international dignitary to do so.

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