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Statement by Ambassador Christoph Heusgen at the Security Council meeting on the situation in Venezuela

26.02.2019 - Speech

(check against delivery)

Thank you very much.  A month ago, we reminded delegations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and said that there were violations of the UDHR. Here we sit, one month later, and the situation continues. Actually, the Maduro regime has become even more cynical. I quote the example that the American Ambassador used in his introduction: that Maduro was dancing while children and adults were dying, suffering, because they don’t have anything to eat and no medical supply.

I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for putting this item on the agenda today. I disagree with my South African friend; I think this belongs on the agenda. This is a threat for international peace and security for two reasons. As I mentioned last time, there are 3.4 million refugees fleeing the country and now living in the border areas of Brazil, Columbia and Ecuador. There is stability in these countries, and yet the representatives of these countries will speak later on to confirm the threat to peace and security posed by masses fleeing Venezuela and its territories. Secondly, human rights is not an internal affair but, and I quote from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “a common achievement for all peoples and all nations.”

If human rights are blatantly violated, one has to look at it. USG DeCarlo gave a description of the terrible current situation in this country, which I predict, as did my Polish colleague, that the representative of the Maduro regime will deny. They will not say that they are oppressing, that there is arbitrary detention, that there are irregular armed groups, that the freedom of speech is being violated. But they just have to say in our eyes that they know that there are children dying because they are malnourished. There is maternal mortality that the USG mentioned. Many people die because of preventable causes. It is important that humanitarian assistance can access the country. We have to stop and prevent any politicization of the delivery of human assistance. This doesn’t lead anywhere and undermines the safety and security of humanitarian workers. This is a historic moment for Venezuela and we must not leave the people alone. The humanitarian aid must be delivered in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

Let me briefly turn to the political situation and there I just want to echo what my Belgian colleague has said earlier. The EU through its international contact groups stands ready to support. There can only be a political solution and we reject the use of force. So far, we also support the declaration of the Lima Group which called for “a process of peaceful transition through political and diplomatic means without the use of force.” We renew the call for the restoration of a democratic process and the constitutional orders for free, transparent, credible presidential elections. We support Juan Guaidó in conducting the process on the way to lasting peace, democratic values, respect for the rights and the freedom of the Venezuelan people.

Thank you.

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