Dastis greets other ministers when he arrives in Brussels./ Photo: Foreign Ministry
The Diplomat. 14/11/2017
The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the EU approved, yesterday in Brussels, new restrictive measures against the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro, standing out “the embargo of weapons and any other related material that can be used for internal repression”. According to the Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, the objective of these sanctions is to “encourage dialogue”.
In a statement approved by unanimity, the Foreign Ministers of the EU reiterated their support to “constructive dialogue and negotiations” and were willing to “support a credible negotiation that involves all the relevant actors” and that allows “reaching shared solutions for the multiple challenges that the country is facing”.
Furthermore, they reiterated their opposition to the “establishment of an all-powerful Constituent Assembly that has damaged the democratic and independent institutions even more” and expressed their concern about “the information on violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms”.
Therefore, the statement continues, “the Council decided by unanimity to adopt restrictive measures”. On one hand, “an embargo of weapons and of any other related material that can be used for internal repression”, and, on the other hand, the approval of “a legal framework for the prohibition of trips and the freezing of assets”.
“These measures will be gradually applied in a flexible way and they can be extended to include those involved in the lack of respect for democratic principles or the rule of law and the violation of human rights”, the Foreign Ministers pointed out.
The EU sanctions Venezuela with an embargo of weapons and of any other potentially repressive material
Sanctions, which “have been designed to avoid damaging the Venezuelan people”, could be maintained “depending on the evolution of the country’s situation, in particular credible and significant negotiations, the respect for democratic institutions, the adoption of a complete electoral calendar and the release of all political prisoners”.
In the subsequent press conference, Alfonso Dastis affirmed that the objective of the new “specific and restricted” sanctions on Venezuela is “to encourage dialogue and a peaceful solution”.
On 1 August, Dastis announced Spain’s intention of asking the EU for the adoption of “additional restrictive measures” against the regime of Nicolás Maduro. In particular, the minister proposed the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, to impose “individual, selective and specific measures” against “those responsible for the situation”, although he warned against the imposition of economic sanctions that “can affect the population”.