The European Union thanks the High Commissioner for her report.
We highly appreciate and support the OHCHR’s monitoring role in Venezuela and the efforts of the High Commissioner and her office to support the authorities in the filed of human rights. We welcome the governments cooperation with and the increased access of OHCHR to Venezuela since the signing of the Letter of Understanding in September 2019.
The EU expresses profound concern over the recent findings presented by the OHCHR, which paint a bleak picture of the human rights situation in Venezuela. We voice our deep concern over the repression against political opponents, including members of the National Assembly, persistent cases of arbitrary detentions and torture, extrajudicial killings by Venezuelan security forces and violations of economic and social rights. Increasing restrictions and attacks against freedom of expression and freedom of media, as well as the deterioration of the human rights situation of indigenous peoples, are also a matter of concern.
The EU stresses its serious concern over the worsening of the political crisis and the further shrinking of the democratic and political space. We reiterate that the crisis in Venezuela can only be addressed through a peaceful and negotiated solution among Venezuelans. This solution must be based on credible democractic elections, the recognition and respect of the constitutional role and independence of all democratically elected institutions, notably the National Assembly, the release of all political prisoners and the upholding of human rights.
Given the late submission of the report, the EU is currently studying in detail its findings and recommendations. At this stage we would like to call on the authorities to fully cooperate with the OHCHR and the Fact-finding Mission established by this Council. We also encourage the Venezuelan authorities to continue discussions on the opening a fully-fledged OHCHR country office in Venezuela.