European judiciary dismissed on Friday the appeal of the regime of Nicolás Maduro against the sanctions adopted in 2017 by the European Union (EU), related to the situation of human rights in the country.
“The General Court of the EU decided to dismiss the appeal”, the Luxembourg-based court ruled, supporting the opinion of the EU Council, the institution responsible for imposing sanctions, which considered Caracas’s claim inadmissible.
In November 2017, the EU imposed its first package of sanctions consisting of prohibiting European companies from exporting weapons and equipment that can be used for internal repression in Venezuela.
During the hearing held in February, the EU Council agent, Petra Mahnic, argued that the regulation adopted responded “to the deterioration of democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Venezuela.”
The Maduro’s dictatorship appealed in February 2018 the imposition of these sanctions, by affirming that their right to be heard had been violated, that the decision was not duly justified and there are errors of assessment of the facts.
For Maduro, these sanctions, adopted after the death of 125 people in four months of opposition protests, are also “illegal countermeasures under customary international law”, according to the appeal.
Without ruling on the substance of the appeal, the court dismisses the claim after studying the grounds of inadmissibility defended by the EU Council, including that the “contested provisions do not directly affect” Caracas.
“At the most, they can have indirect effects” since the prohibitions imposed on the entities of the EU countries could limit “the sources in which Venezuela can procure products and services”, according to the ruling.
Venezuela became in 2017 the first Latin American country sanctioned by the EU. In addition to the arms embargo, Europeans imposed in 2018 an asset freeze and visa ban for 18 officials.