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The EU imposed an arms embargo on Venezuela in November 2017 for the duration of one year, which has been extended since.

On 13 November 2017 The EU Foreign Affairs Council decided to impose sanctions on Venezuela, including an embargo on the supply of arms and on material that might be used for internal repression. The sanctions followed the Council’s concerns about the long-term developments in the political situation in Venezuela. The immediate reason for the sanctions was the Council’s assessment that the Venezuelan Gubernatorial elections of October 2017 had taken place amidst reported numerous irregularities and that its results were not recognised by a large part of the opposition. In addition the Council argued that the setting-up of an ‘all-powerful’ Constituent Assembly had further eroded the democratic and independent institutions in Venezuela and that reports of violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms were an additional reason for alarm.

The arms embargo covered all transfers of goods and technology listed in the EU Common List of Military Equipment, unless such transfers were part of contracts signed before 13 November 2017. In addition the embargoed banned transfers of ‘equipment which might be used for internal repression’, such as riot control vehicles, certain types of explosives and body armour.

The embargo has been regularly extended and is currently in place until 14 May 2023.


Last updated on
Embargo type: EU embargoes
Entry into force:
Establishing document: EU 2017/2063