February 3rd, 2019 The Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis – will lead a delegation to Uruguay, where an international conference focusing on the ongoing political upheaval in Venezuela is set to convene this Thursday, February 7th, 2019, in the capital of Montevideo.
The CARICOM delegation’s trip to the South American country follows on the heels of its skillful shuttle diplomacy at the United Nations, to advance dialogue and negotiations for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.
Last Monday, January 28th, Prime Minister Harris, as well as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley, and the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Honourable Mia Mottley, met with the UN Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, before holding a number of discussions with other global stakeholders, including representatives of the African Union and the European Union.
“I would say that meeting went very well,” the Chairman of CARICOM said of their meeting with the UN Secretary-General. “We were able to get his views regarding this matter. We were able to be apprised of other engagement and other outreaches that had been made by him and to him, and to get a sense of his willingness to intercede,” Prime Minister Harris noted, adding, “He accepted, importantly, our invitation for his good offices to be made available to the people of Venezuela, and so we felt very positive about that.”
Later in the week, on Friday, February 1st, CARICOM Heads of Government continued to demonstrate their deep resolve in advancing a solution to the political crisis in Venezuela during a meeting held via videoconference, which lasted several hours. It was their second special meeting on Venezuela in the space of a week, the first one being held on Thursday, January 24th.
During Friday’s meeting, Heads of Government, Foreign Affairs Ministers and other attendees, including representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat, held the consensus that the mission to the United Nations was extremely well put together and provided “sterling representation by the region to the extent that we [CARICOM] now have Mexico and Uruguay joining us in this exercise.”
A statement from Uruguay and Mexico says “the purpose of the conference will be to establish the basis for a new dialogue mechanism that includes all the forces in Venezuela, in order to help restore peace in that country.”