Nicolás Maduro ordered on Monday the expulsion of the ambassador of the European Union in Venezuela, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, hours after Brussels announced new sanctions against 11 leaders considered related to the regime, including dissident opposition Luis Parra. Who are they to try to impose themselves on the threat? Stop! I have decided to give the European Union ambassador in Caracas 72 hours to leave our country. Enough of European colonialism against Venezuela is enough, ”said the Venezuelan president in an appearance broadcast on television. “Today the EU issued a resolution sanctioning Venezuelans who, as part of state institutions respect the Constitution, sanction the leadership of the National Assembly, because it has refused to carry out orders from the EU Embassy in Caracas “, kept up. Maduro also issued a warning to the Spanish ambassador, Jesús Silva, adding that “Venezuela reserves diplomatic actions” on him. The Chavista leader linked him to the activities of Leopoldo López, protected in the residence of the Spanish Embassy for more than a year, and in the alleged involvement of the opposition leader in the failed maritime incursion on two beaches near Caracas last month. may.
The decision deepens the international isolation of his government, with hardly any relations with Washington and with the main countries of the region. Enezuela reserves diplomatic actions on the Spanish ambassador for his participation in the armed incursion of Macuto. Chavismo has been trying for months to promote an alternative opposition to the one grouped around Juan Guaidó. That attempt began to forge at the end of last year through a dialogue table with a minority sector and took shape in January 2020, when Parra was elected president of the National Assembly Venezuela in a session without a quorum, in the midst of utter confusion. That deputy had just been expelled from Primero Justicia, the party of Henrique Capriles and Julio Borges, for his alleged involvement in a corrupt plot. And that movement had the objective of displacing Guaidó from the control of the legislative power. Community agencies promptly rejected that vote. This Monday Parra was included in a new list of Venezuelan leaders close to the Maduro government, sanctioned for “acting against the democratic functioning” of Parliament.
Along with him are 10 other officials who, according to Brussels, have hindered the way out of the serious institutional and political crisis the country is going through or have actively participated in encircling the opposition from the regime apparatus. The European Council decision is especially significant because for the first time he points out to some political operators that, at least formally, they do not belong to the ranks of Chavismo. However, the Government has tried to make them external collaborators. In addition to Parra, for example, the EU imposes sanctions on Franklyn Duarte and José Gregorio Noriega, vice-presidents of the National Assembly, which since the 2015 elections has been dominated by the opposition.
This type of measure, which basically consists of a travel ban and the paralysis of assets, affects 36 Venezuelan leaders to date. And in this latest resolution – which alludes to the legal actions for which it deprived of parliamentary immunity of several deputies, including Guaidó himself, to “serious violations of human rights” and to the blows inflicted on fundamental rights such as freedom of expression – some key pieces of the scheme are added.
For example, the list includes Jorge Elieser Márquez, director general of the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), an organization repeatedly singled out for restricting press freedom. Or Juan José Mendoza Jover, member of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and president of the constitutional chamber of the court. One of the latest decisions of the high court was the removal of the leadership of two of the main opposition parties, Primero Justicia (PJ) and Acción Democrática (AD). The sentences took control of these organizations from their leaders to place it in the hands of two dissident opponents.
The sanctions of the European Union also reach the comptroller general, Elvis Amoroso, and the vice-presidents of the National Constituent Assembly, a Parliament elected in July 2017 without the participation of the majority of the opposition to replace the National Assembly and who, of de facto, it operates as a legislative arm of the Executive. The list is completed by the military José Adelino Ornelas Ferreira, general secretary of the Defense Council of the Nation.
The communiqué issued by the European Council also ensures that these measures are individual and do not affect the population. “The EU,” he points out, “will continue to work to promote a peaceful democratic solution in Venezuela through credible and inclusive legislative elections.” At the end of this year, parliamentary elections are planned, but after a negotiation between the parties failed, the TSJ assumed in early June the renewal process of the National Electoral Council (CNE), the highest electoral authority and decisive body for the celebration of some transparent and guaranteed elections.
Meanwhile, in the bulk of the international community linked to the Venezuelan crisis, with the United States, Europe and much of Latin America at the forefront, skepticism and disapproval of the mechanisms advanced by the Maduro regime to impose its rules of the game, strengthened also thanks to those opposition leaders – called “scorpions” – also accused of having been bribed. Instead, Maduro continues to count on the competition of Russia, Cuba, China and Iran.