Friday, December 8, 2023

Clash intensifies as MEPs argue over Spain's breach of EU sanctions against Venezuela

Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodriguez speaks to supporters of the Venezuelan government during a march to deliver a petition with 13 million signatures denouncing the US blockade on Venezuelan state goods to her office prior to Rodriguez' attendance of the United Nations General Assembly, in Caracas, Venezuela, 21 September 2019.

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European Parliament’s Strasbourg session on Tuesday was heated up by Spanish MEPs who clashed over the Spanish minister’s of Transport meeting with the Vice President of Venezuela, citing an alleged breach of EU sanctions against Venezuela.
Spain’s Minister of Transport José Luis Ábalos admitted he met the Venezuela’s government’s official Delcy Rodrígues, who is subject to an EU travel ban, on January in Madrid’s airport, with the solemn aim of informing her that she could not stay on Spanish territory because of the EU-wide ban.
Sanctions against Maduro’s regime were put in place by the EU in 2017, with the aim of fostering a process that could lead to the solution of the Venezuelan crisis and foresaw assets freeze, arms and security forces equipment exports ban and a travel ban to government officials.
During Strasbourg’s plenary session on Tuesday, EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell stressed that it is up to the member states to investigate the case as the EU countries are responsible for the implementation of EU sanctions and that the EU Commission has no competence on the matter.
Jordi Cañas from the Renew Europe group, accused Borrell of speaking as a “former Foreign Minister of [Pedro] Sánchez” and not as the High Representative of the EU, adding that “it is a debate on the legitimacy of EU’s Foreign Policy” and that EU’s foreign policy chief disrespected the chamber and brought a pro-Chaves approach.
“It is Sánchez’s government who has opened Europe’s doors to Chaves’ movement,” the Spanish MEP of European People’s Party, Dolors Montserrat said, with some MEPs questioning whether the Strasbourg’s session was the right time to “attack the Spanish government.”
While some MEPs apologised for misusing the session on the application of restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela to debate on a national matter, others cited “betrayal from the Spanish colleagues”.

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