Sakharov Prize 2017 ceremony in Strasbourg
Representatives of the democratic opposition of Venezuela have today received Parliament´s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought during a ceremony in Strasbourg.
“The Prize is for all Venezuelans in the world,” said Parliament President Antonio Tajani while awarding the prize. The President noted that the human rights situation in Venezuela was deteriorating and called for a “return to free elections with the participation of all so that the Venezuelan people can decide their future”.
“Last weekend, President Maduro decided in an arbitrary and anti-democratic way to prohibit the main opposition parties from running for the presidential elections. This situation cannot continue like this,” Tajani said. “We want the country to return to democracy, to dignity, and freedom,” he stressed.
Accepting the award, Julio Borges, chair of Venezuela’s national assembly, said: “[The Sakharov Prize] is an acknowledgment for mothers denying themselves food to save their children, for children rummaging in the rubbish to satiate their hunger, for old people wasting away to death because of a lack of medicines. A young person who has now emigrated out of despair to seek opportunities elsewhere is another recipient of this prize as is a teacher overcoming ideological blindness and sticking to the task of training free men and women for Venezuela. Or again, those who are fighting for human rights in Venezuela, Venezuelan journalists who take risks throughout their lives in trying to show the true facts that people are trying to keep silent.”, said Mr Julio Borges, President of the Venezuela´s National Assembly.
Later on Borges called for humanitarian help, saying: “Hunger has been made into a political system in Venezuela: 75% of Venezuelans have lost 10 kilos weight over the last 12 months.” He also urged the EU and the world to follow the presidential elections attentively.