CARICOM Heads of Government  have called for meaningful dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the situation in Venezuela.

This was contained in a statement issued Thursday evening, following an emergency meeting via video conference.

The Leaders of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago; and Foreign Ministers of Grenada and Suriname participated.

The statement said that CARICOM is following closely what the leaders described as “the current unsatisfactory situation” in Venezuela.

They expressed grave concern about the increasing volatility of the situation brought about by recent developments which they say could lead to further violence, confrontation, breakdown of law and order and greater suffering for the people of the country.

The Heads of Government also reiterated that the long-standing political crisis, which has been exacerbated by recent events, can only be resolved peacefully through meaningful dialogue and diplomacy.

In this regard, Heads of Government offered to facilitate dialogue among all parties to resolve the deepening crisis.

They also reaffirmed their guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for human rights and democracy.

Chairman of Conference, Dr Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis has said that he would seek an urgent meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General to request the U.N’s assistance in resolving the issue.”

 

Trinidad & Tobago Ready To Do It’s Part

Before the emergency meeting, this country’s Communications Minister Stuart Young, had told reporters in Port of Spain, the government was ready, if asked,  to play the role of mediator in the current circumstances.

The situation in Venezuela reached new international heights on Wednesday, when U.S. President, Donald Trump, announced  recognition of  the Venezuelan Opposition Juan Guaidó who declared himself as that interim President

Twelve countries, mostly in Central and South America, and including Canada, operating under the umbrella the Lima Group, had openly rejected the Maduro Presidency, and have now voiced support for Guaido.

Speaking at the weekly post cabinet news briefing held at the Diplomatic Center, St Ann’s Thursday afternoon, Minister Young said this country will not intervene in Venezuela’s internal conflict.

Minister Young also responded to a question posed to him by a reporter concerning what is the status of gas deals entered into with Venezuela in light of the tense economic situation.

 

Opposition Criticises T&T’s Hands Off Approach

Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal, however, has criticised the government,  saying its hesitation to take a position on the issue is equivalent to having a non-position

Speaking on CNC3 Television Dr Moonilal stated that given Trinidad and Tobago’s proximity to Venezuela and the implications for this country if any conflict were to break out in that country…the Government should have taken a stronger stance sooner.

Dr Moonilal added that a more forceful approach was needed and suggested that sitting on the fence in an issue such as this serves no purpose.