To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions the Government has had with the Venezuelan Government on the political situation in that country; and what recent discussions his Department has had with the Department for International Development on foreign aid for citizens of Venezuela.
I met the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Samuel Moncada, in his previous role as Minister for Europe on 26 October. We discussed the political, humanitarian and economic situation and I shared my concern about the Venezuelan Government's response to protests. In March, I hosted a delegation of Venezuelan MPs from the National Assembly and stressed the importance of an independent and empowered legislature. This was followed by my statement of 31 March echoing those views following a move by the Supreme Court to wrest power from from the National Assembly.
During her visit to Caracas in early May, the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Minister for Human Rights, Baroness Anelay, met senior government and opposition figures to express our concerns about the political situation and the need to respect human rights.
There have been no recent discussions between the FCO and Department for International Development about foreign aid for the citizens of Venezuela. However, on 12 May 2017, the UK joined EU member states in issuing a statement calling on the Venezuelan Government to allow access for external cooperation to meet the urgent needs of the population.