Accusing Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro and his socialist government of continuously engaging in crimes against humanity, the vice president of the European Parliament called on the international community to join forces to get rid of the administration.
Dita Charanzová said the Maduro-led government engages in acts of systemic and violent political repression.
"Venezuelans have suffered a lot. We need to restore democracy."
She spoke at Thursday’s presentation of the Casla Institute’s 2020 report on crimes against humanity in Venezuela. The Organization of American States (OAS) hosted the event which was streamed live on its Facebook and YouTube platforms.
In 2017 Venezuela withdrew from the OAS, accusing the Washington-based political group of being a US pawn.
Charanzová called for people to recognise opposition leader Juan Guaido as the president "until free and fair elections are held.
"Next week, the European Parliament will engage in a debate on a resolution on this issue. I will ask once again that the high representatives will realise this position in an urgent way to complete the resolution process," she said.
Last month, the Maduro administration won the National Assembly election which the Opposition boycotted. She claimed the assembly was unlawfully and undemocratically elected.
This election (Venezuela’s legislature) is held every five years. In 2015, Guaido led the Opposition to victory and, in 2019, declared himself interim president.
Charanzová said three areas require immediate attention— recognition, sanction, and justice— to peacefully pressure the ruling regime.
She complimented the Casla Institute, an NGO based in the Czech Republic, for shedding light on what is taking place in Venezuela.
She said, "I hope the report would be a warning sign to bring attention to the international population."
Casla’s executive director Tamara Suju said based on information from NGOs, the Maduro regime continues to commit crimes against humanity.
"Last night, there was an investigation against another NGO that was looking into the assassinations of several people which took place last week," Suju said.
She accused the Maduro regime of taking advantage in 2020 of the social situation caused by the pandemic, worsening the situation of human rights.
Thousands of people were protesting for dignified salaries, food, medicines, and other necessities. The authority detained many protesters, including a human rights lawyer. She said he was also tortured.
Suju shared testimonies from victims claiming they were beaten with hammers, forced to sleep in faeces and sexually assaulted.
Casla Institute’s Facebook page says the organisation aims to monitor the state of democracy in Latin America. At the same time, it seeks to sensitise public opinion about the state of human rights in the region.
OAS’ general secretary Luis Almagro denounced Maduro as a dictator. He charged there that the public security forces carried out many extra-judicial executions in addition to arbitrated tensions.
Almagro said, "Thousands of people have been victims of gross human rights violations. There are many documented cases of torture. We have to spotlight the regime responsible for this. The victims continue to wait for justice. We want justice for them."