The EU’s High Representative / Vice President Federica Mogherini has called on Nicolás Maduro, president of Venezuela, and his government to suspend the election process. “All options are on the table for political consideration,” warned Mogherini at a press conference at the end of the meeting of the EU-28 Foreign Affairs Council on Monday.
When asked if the EU will explore sanctions against Venezuelan leaders, Mogherini echoed the Spanish foreign affairs minister that defended “specific” and “selective” sanctions against “individual” leaders in Venezuela if the elections to the Constituent Assembly are held.
Mogherini suggested that “a large part of the population clearly does not seem to support the Constituent Assembly” and that there is a need of exploring “urgent peaceful solutions”. As Venezuela is at risk of “polarizing the country and increasing confrontation, We believe it would be useful if the Government sought political gestures to reduce tensions, create better conditions for the resumption of work towards a negotiated peaceful solution,” added the High Representative.
In this context, “suspending the process to start the Constituent Assembly would be an important gesture,” added Mogherini, insisting on the “clear signal” sent on Sunday by the opposition in the consultation against the process. “I think there is still room to restart serious negotiations with the accompaniment of a Group of Friends of the region,” Mogherini added, as “violence has already claimed too many lives”.