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Tuesday 26 March 2019
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Hope for peace in Venezuela

LIBERTAD: Venezuelan Ruth Albornoz chants as she and other Venezuelans assembled in the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain on Friday in support of National Assembly president Juan Guaido declaring himself President of Venezuela. PHOTO BY JEFF MAYERS
LIBERTAD: Venezuelan Ruth Albornoz chants as she and other Venezuelans assembled in the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain on Friday in support of National Assembly president Juan Guaido declaring himself President of Venezuela. PHOTO BY JEFF MAYERS

THE Prime Minister is hopeful there will be peaceful resolution to the crisis in Venezuela.

Dr Rowley expressed this hope after a meeting between UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and a Caricom delegation at the UN's headquarters in New York.

The delegation was led by current Caricom chairman, St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris. Rowley, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Caricom Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque and TT's Permanent Ambassador to the UN Pennelope Beckles-Robinson were the other members.

In a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Rowley said, "We believe in the coming days there will be work towards dialogue so that the internal difficulties in Venezuela can be approached without intervention and interference from those who may have a different approach." He hoped this dialogue will lead to a" significant improvement and a diminishing of tensions in TT's neighbouring territory (Venezuela)."

The OPM's statement said the Caricom delegation was satisfied the conditions can be met for the UN to help establish a roadmap for peace and security for Venezuela and the region.

The Caricom delegation also met with Canadian Ambassador to the UN Marc-Andre Blanchard, and was expected to participate in other meetings. The OPM also issued a release on the outcome of an emergency UN Security Council meeting last Saturday.

Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo said all parties must respect human rights and the rule of law, and warned that the situation could spiral out of control.

US Under-Secretary of State Michael Pompeo called on nations to recognise Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. Pompeo said the UN has not had a formal session on the matter. The council adopted the matter as an agenda item by a vote of nine to four.

Russian representative Vassily Nebenzia warned Guaido's actions Moduro could create a parallel government in Venezuela, and cautioned other Latin American countries that they could become the next target for US intervention.

While council members were divided on the issue, several speakers struck a balanced tone, calling for international attention to Venezuela’s grave humanitarian situation and full respect for the UN Charter principles of sovereignty and non-intervention in state affairs.

Barbados representative H Elizabeth Thompson stressed the region must remain a zone of peace and urged external forces to refrain from destabilising actions. She called on the parties to “step back from the brink.”

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