1. Today’s Security Council meeting has been called in response to the escalation of tensions and violence in Venezuela over the weekend.
2. As current and recent EU members of the Security Council, we are alarmed by the reports of unrest and acts of violence, including civilian deaths, particularly in border areas and among the Pemón indigenous community. We condemn these actions and offer condolences to the families of the deceased.
3. We call on the security forces to show maximal restraint, avoid the use of force, and allow humanitarian aid assistance to enter the country and reach its intended recipients – those in Venezuela and in the neighbouring countries who need it most. We condemn the use of irregular armed groups to intimidate both civilians and members of the National Assembly who are mobilising to distribute assistance.
4. We are committed to providing humanitarian assistance and development aid cooperation in order to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable those who are most in need in Venezuela, and are. We are ready to scale up this humanitarian assistance and to support the work of the relevant UN agencies in full accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence when conditions are in place.
5. We reiterate that the presidential elections last May in Venezuela were neither free, fair, nor credible, lacking democratic legitimacy. The country urgently needs a government that truly represents the will of the Venezuelan people.
6. We reiterate our full support to the National Assembly, which is the democratic legitimate body of Venezuela, and whose powers need to be restored and respected, including the prerogatives and safety of its members.
7. An inclusive and peaceful political solution to the crisis must urgently be found. We therefore strongly renew our call for the restoration of democracy through free, transparent, and credible presidential elections, in accordance with international democratic standards and the Venezuelan constitutional order. The EU, including through the International Contact Group, stands ready to support this process.