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Volume 662: debated on Tuesday 25 June 2019

The political stand-off in Venezuela continues and the humanitarian crisis deepens. We support initiatives by the Lima Group, the International Contact Group and the Norwegian-facilitated talks in Oslo to make progress towards a solution. We have committed significant humanitarian aid and are supporting the UN and the Red Cross movement operating in the region.

Will the Minister join me in welcoming the visit of the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, to Venezuela and endorsing her demands that, whatever else needs to happen there, we must see the immediate release of all political prisoners being held by the Maduro Government?

Yes, I am very happy to confirm that, but of course we need to see far more than that in Venezuela. Maduro has brought his own country to its knees. Millions of people have fled to neighbouring countries. The country has been ruined by the lunacy of one man, and we all, as the international community, need to work together to do everything we possibly can to restore the fortunes of that once great country.