The Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament has welcomed the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s adoption of restrictive measures targeting Venezuelan officials.

The sanctions consist of a legal framework for a travel ban and assets freeze of those involved in the non-respect of democratic principles or the rule of law and the violation of human rights. ALDE has been calling for the Council to consider targeted sanctions in Venezuela since 2014.

“I welcome the decision of the Council to adopt targeted sanctions against officials of the Venezuelan regime,” said ALDE MEP Dita Charanzová (ANO, Czech Republic), who is also a member of the Mercosur delegation and Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EuroLat). “This is a clear signal from the EU to [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro that he cannot continue to silence, imprison and deny Venezuelans their rights.”

She said the sanctions should help drive the regime to finally engage in real dialogue, but more must be done to obtain a peaceful transition.

In turn, ALDE MEP, Beatriz Becerra (Spain, Independent), who is the vice-chair of Subcommittee on Human Rights, said: “The Venezuelan people count on the European Union to help them recover the democracy Maduro has taken away from their country.”

According to a European Council press release, the restrictive measures aim to help foster democratic shared solutions that can bring political stability to the country and allow it to address the pressing needs of the population.