BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 6, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are expected to use Thursday’s (February 7, 2019) international conference in Uruguay to continue its pursuance of a peaceful diplomatic resolution to the ongoing political unrest in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
The CARICOM delegation is being led by Chairman and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, and includes Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Mottley; Minister of Foreign Affairs in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Mark Brantley; CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; Assistant Secretary-General of CARICOM, Ambassador Colin Granderson; Minister of Foreign Affairs for Barbados, Senator Dr. the Honourable Jerome Walcott; Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs for St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms. Kaye Bass; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister in Barbados, Ms. Alies Jordan and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Barbados, Ms. Simone Rudder.
Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris stated in an interview last week that a peaceful end to the volatile situation in Venezuela is in the best interest of all parties.
“We are in this really for the people of Venezuela to have a better deal and a better arrangement and a better quality of life than one that will come as a consequence of war,” the CARICOM Chairman said.
Dr. Harris added, “We look at regions elsewhere, whether it is Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, or anywhere there’s been war, and until now people are still attempting to put their lives together. So war does not bring any benefit to those upon which it is imposed.”
Prime Minister Harris further noted that based on the Caribbean region’s close proximity to Venezuela, “we would be impacted most by whatever happens in Venezuela and so our position, as in the position that all small island states should take, is that we must pursue peace at all cost in Venezuela because the opposite of that – war, bloodshed or military intervention – will not redound to the benefit of the people of the region.”
As a regional body, CARICOM reaffirmed its position 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 Harris said this position helps to maintain the credibility of the regional bloc as they seek to be “honest brokers in a dispute.”
“We are not making judgements and advocating for or against in Venezuela. That is why we are saying, let the platform for dialogue be put in place so the Venezuelans themselves make a determination of what their present and future will be. If we support the processes and structures that allow them to reach there we will be happy because ultimately it must be choice of the people that must be reflected in democratic outcomes,” said Prime Minister Harris.