The European Court of Justice rules that Venezuela can appeal sanctions against it

The Court of Justice of the European Union (TEU) reported this Tuesday that Venezuela is “effectively” entitled to appeal the restrictive measures passed by the Community Bloc Council in 2017 against it.

With this decision, the TUE overturns the ruling of the General Court in which it declared inadmissible an appeal filed by the South American country, which requested the cancellation of the penalties on the grounds that it was “affected by its provisions”.

According to the court, Venezuela, “as a country with international legal personality”, should be considered a “legal person,” as TEU General Counsel Gerard Hogan put forward already last January.

Likewise, it declares that the General Court erred in law when it considered that the restrictive measures in question did not directly affect the legal status of the Latin American country.

Sanctions “adopted against Venezuela”

“Preventing Union operators from carrying out certain operations amounts to preventing Venezuela from carrying out such operations with these operators,” the statement said, stressing that sanctions were “adopted against Venezuela.”

The TEU also considers that the sanctions imposed on the Bolivarian state could “harm” its interests “especially economic ones”, and that “their abolition could provide it with a benefit in itself”.

By the same token, she maintains that the argument that restrictive measures are not an “absolute impediment” for that state to the possession of goods and services is an “irrelevant” argument.


This ruling was issued after on September 20, 2019, the General Court ruled that Venezuela had not shown that the sanctions had directly affected it, concluded that it “lacks the capacity necessary to support its appeal of revocation” and declared the appeal inadmissible. Caracas on February 6, 2018. After this decision, the South American country requested to appeal the ruling on November 28, 2019.

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After months of violent opposition protests in Venezuela that left more than 100 people dead and culminated in the election of the National Constituent Assembly, the Council of the European Union approved restrictive measures against the country on November 13, 2017.

These measures, which have been extended until November this year, provide for a ban on the sale or supply of military equipment and technologies for the “internal repression” of Venezuela. Likewise, the provision of technical, brokerage or financial services for this purpose has been restricted.

The restrictions also include a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze on European soil for 36 Venezuelans in official positions whom the EU considers “responsible for human rights violations” and for “undermining democracy and the rule of law”. .

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