Wednesday, May 22, 2024
 
 

Guaidó seeks stronger EU sanctions on Maduro

EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET
Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, during a news conference at EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 22 January 2020. 

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Juan Guaidó, opposition leader in Venezuela travelled to Brussels on Wednesday, defying a travel ban, in an effort to give renewed impetus to his political fight against Venezuela’s President Nicola Maduro.
Speaking to the European Parliament “on behalf of Venezuelan citizens who do not have a voice,” the President of the National Assembly asked for stronger EU sanctions on Maduro’s government as a means of pushing toward “genuinely free presidential elections” in Venezuela.
Guaidó called the situation in Venezuela a “massive humanitarian crisis”, as thousands of people have left the capital Caracas and has been long demanding more pressure on Maduro’s “sadist practices”, as mediation has so far failed. He supported that Europe, the “Free World” as he called the bloc, has the tools available to put sanctions on Venezuela and assist in restoring democracy in the country.
“We are firmed and determined – we are a unified country and we want to achieve freedom and democracy and there’s no ideological problem here,” said Guaidó, adding that they are hoping for a “miracle” when trying to achieve one of the greatest economic recoveries in history.
Guaidó also appealed to EU governments to label the illegal mining in Venezuela’s Amazon as “blood gold” and also to prohibit the trade of Venezuelan gold across the bloc, as it is used for financing irregular groups.
The EU has so far adopted a “soft” approach to Venezuela’s government, having imposed a travel ban to 25 officials as well as an embargo on arms sales to the country, but still allowing trade of gold.
Guaidó proclaimed himself acting President of Venezuela last year and is recognised as interim legitimate president of the country by more than 50 countries, which support that Maduro’s re-election in 2018 was marred by fraud. Earlier this month, armed forces blocked Guaidó’s entry to the parliament, to prevent him from getting re-elected as head of the opposition.
Last week, MEPs adopted a resolution condemning Maduro’s attempt to install the pro-government candidate Luis Parra as the new Chairman of the Venezuelan National Assembly, and reaffirming their support to Guaidó as interim President of the country.
EU lawmakers also called on EU’s Foreign Chief, Josep Borrell to boost EU’s response in restoring democracy in Venezuela, through further targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for human rights violations and their families as well.

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