The European Parliament will decide next week if it also sends a political observation mission to the regional elections on November 21 organized by the Venezuelan dictatorship, which would complement the one that the High Representative for EU foreign policy has already decided to send, Josep Borrell, which in turn accuses the most relevant Venezuelan opponents such as Leopoldo López and whom several member countries have recognized as the president in charge, Juan Guaidó, of trying to “dynamite” her. Rarely had there been such a bitter controversy in Brussels in relation to an electoral observation mission. Probably this situation has a lot to do with the fact that this is also the first time that a High Representative decides to send it against the preliminary report that the technicians had prepared, and that it clearly ruled that the minimum conditions for this were not met.
The electoral missions sent by the Foreign Action service are eminently technical, while those of Parliament embody the more political version of events. The High Representative has appointed the Portuguese Socialist MEP Isabel Santos as head of the observation mission and she will, in any case, be the sole head of the whole process, even if representatives of the European Parliament are eventually deployed.
The European People’s Party (EPP) He had asked that Borrel be summoned to appear before the Foreign Affairs Committee and explain the reasons why he had taken this decision against the ruling, but he has not achieved a majority. Largely because the old liberal group, where Ciudadanos is, has preferred to let the procedure run since they agree that the mission should move to Venezuela. The fact has been interpreted as a result of the differences within the group, although of course it has not sat down well with the popular. Dolors Montserrat, who has tried to force this appearance or Leopoldo López, father of the opposition leader, were disappointed, while the deputy from Citizens, Jordi Cañas, justified his position against the appearance to favor the sending of the mission that in his opinion can only make a report contrary to the dictatorship.
Outside the institutions, Borrell has maintained on several occasions in recent days that the report in question that he has decided to ignore “was old” because it was made in July and he made the decision at the end of September, but he has not been able to explain what they are. the essential elements that have changed since then. The talks in Mexico between the regime and the opposition are stalled, the opposition parties have not been able to present themselves freely, since the National Electoral Council (CNE) of the dictatorship has arbitrarily distributed acronyms and headquarters of the parties, not a single political prisoner has been released (on the contrary, this year alone, three people imprisoned for reprisals from the dictatorship, the last one being former general Raul Baduel), and no medical assistance is provided none of the fifty who need it.
According to well-informed sources, this is also the first time that companies specialized in deploying the logistical aspects of an electoral mission, and that habitually dispute the contract with the European Commission, have not shown great interest in carrying it out, precisely because they have known the preliminary report and are aware of the terrible difficulties it will represent. They have entered the competition so as not to be disqualified in future contracts, but according to this version, in the end it has been awarded for an amount of about 7 million euros, when the usual thing is that they are around two and a half million.
Before embarking on a trip to the United States, Borrell made statements in which blamed “the political parties of López and Guaidó and their representatives in the European Parliament, who do not want the mission to be done despite the fact that their parties are running in the regional elections. He justified his decision by saying that it is “very important to send an electoral observation mission, so that we know what is happening there”, although the report that he has scorned was crystal clear about it. The authorities of the Venezuelan dictatorship had criticized his statements in this regard and in which he warned that it would be this mission that would determine the legitimacy of the process and considered it as an intolerable interference that put the invitation to the observation mission at risk because “no country could tolerate this.
Borrell must explain as soon as possible the conditions under which the mission in Venezuela, which today is in question, is deployed. He has ignored the recommendations of his services and to cover the shame he accuses the Venezuelan democrats of wanting to dynamite the process, “said Valentina Martínez, secretary of International of the PP.
But from Brussels Borrell insisted on his thesis. Speaking to the Efe agency, the High Representative repeated that “the Venezuelan Government attacks me and he complains because I said the obvious, that the electoral observation missions will verify the quality of the elections. The democratic quality of the elections will be assessed. Therefore, it legitimizes or delegitimizes them from the point of view of the democratic quality they have, of course it does. They don’t like it, because we’re not going to change it, what do you think we’re going to? “He said. Furthermore, he considers that European observers “do not support the opposition, they give them guarantees. If there is someone watching, it is like a football match with a referee. If there is a referee, he gives guarantees of fair play.
Just yesterday, Borrell’s spokesman had to admit that the mission could be suspended “if conditions change.” Peter Stano assured that the signing of the “Administrative Agreement” with the dictatorship “will allow the mission to be carried out according to our criteria”, although the truth is that the document encapsulates in many ways the work of the observers, who will not be able to move around the country without communicating their plans in advance and they will not be able to make statements.