Europe launched a new notice on Thursday to regime of Nicolas Maduro. The European Parliament awarded Sakharov Prize for Freedom of conscience, highest distinction of Community institutions to defence of human rights, to opposition of Venezuela. Recognition implies an explicit boost to critical forces with Chavismo, who are going through a difficult time by internal division that was left behind regional elections on 15 October, and increases pressure on government to await Sanctions that Brussels prepares.
The Sakharov Prize, announced by President of Parliament, Antonio Tajani, personifies movement for democratic freedoms in Venezuela in July Borges, President of Parliament elected in December 2015 and dismantled last July by Chavista constituent National Assembly, in which no opponent is seated. And also in all political prisoners, including seven positions currently in prison or under house arrest: Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma, Daniel Ceballos, Yon Goicoechea, Lorent Saleh, Alfredo Ramos and Andrea González.Learn More
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Borges is one of most prominent figures of first Justice, party of Henrique Capriles, and of Table of Democratic Unity (MUD), coalition of forces opposed to Maduro. "It is an honor to receive Sakharov Award on behalf of all Venezuela, it is an acknowledgement from international community to our people," he said through his Twitter account. This award also comes at a decisive moment. The cohesion of that Alliance was this week in question after four of five governors who won regional elections swore before constituent, legitimizing in some way that institution. These four leaders are part of anor formation, democratic action, led by anor opposition leader, Henry Ramos Allup. The governor-elect of state of Zulia, Juan Pablo Guanipa, who also belongs to first justice, refused instead to recognize Chavista Parliament and was ousted by Legislative Council of that region.
This episode reflects difficulties faced by Venezuelan opposition in trying to weaken regime. Fragmentation and differences in strategy draw a complicated horizon, while new Assembly has demonstrated once again that through authoritarian exercise of its powers it can put unity of forces critical of government in check. This circumstance threatens to close door to any exit to serious institutional crisis that strikes Venezuela in one of most evil years of its recent history, after country lived between April and July a wave of protests against government That left more than 120 dead.
In this context, distinction of European Parliament has enormous relevance for two reasons. Because it moves a clear warning to Maduro and dome of Chavismo and because it highlights value of work of opposition. The designation was promoted, as in past editions, by European People's Party (EPP) and ALDE Liberal Group. "We want to call for a peaceful transition to democracy and opening of a humanitarian corridor to alleviate suffering," said President Tajani. "We not only reward democratic opposition, we honor entire Venezuelan people." "To those imprisoned unjustly for having expressed ir opinion, to those struggling to survive in an authoritarian regime," he added.
The Parliament has been most forceful Community institution in its manifestations of support for opponents ' claims. This summer vehemently criticized authoritarian drift of government of Maduro and from outset announced that it would not recognize Constituent Assembly. Community pressure on democratic deficit in Venezuela has been on rise in recent weeks, and Brussels ' sanctions against political and military charges linked to repression are expected to arrive in coming weeks.
This was second time that Venezuelan opposition became a finalist. The previous was two years ago, when Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was elected. Far from being a mere instrument of symbolic homage, decoration embodies a sort of activism driven from institutions and tries to push a cause. In what goes of century, three or Latin American candidacies have received Sakharov Prize, all of m Cuban: dissidents Oswaldo Payá and Guillermo Fariñas received it in 2002 and 2010 respectively, whereas in 2005 it was to stop Damas de Blanco, A collective formed by mors and wives of Cuban leaders imprisoned by regime.