Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan Monaghan and Chairperson of the Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee Brendan Smith has called on the Irish Government to strongly convey its condemnation of the current political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.

Deputy Smith wrote to the Foreign Affairs Minister to express his concern at the reports emerging from the recent election process, as well as the economic and humanitarian situation in the South American country.

“The continued deterioration of the political system, combined with the devastating rates of poverty and food shortages, are a major cause for concern.  Reports of night time raids, human rights violations and electoral tampering are extremely serious and need to be condemned in the harshest possible terms”, said Deputy Brendan Smith.

“We need to see concentrated and sustained engagement from the European and international community to ensure that the rule of democracy and human rights are upheld.  The Irish Government needs to strongly convey its condemnation of the current situation and speak out when violations are evident.

“I am pleased that Minister Coveney has committed to work with our EU colleagues to seek “peaceful and democratic solutions through dialogue” and I will continue to liaise with him on the issue”.