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Lashley: Rally around Guyana

Social activist Hamilton Lashley has called on Caribbean leaders to rally around Guyana in its border dispute with Venezuela.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Caribbean Congress of Community Practitioners at the Warrens Tower this morning, Lashley said the issue was one of national sovereignty, and it had ramifications for the entire region.

Hamilton Lashley

Hamilton Lashley

“Really and truly, I don’t believe that we in the Caribbean could be so naïve to believe that this is a Guyana issue only, then we are very wrong.

“This issue has serious implications for Barbados, Trinidad and other island’s throughout the region,” Lashley said.

The Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro proclaimed a Presidential Decree in May, claiming maritime waters that encompass Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, a disputed territory that borders Venezuela and encompasses more than half of Guyana.

Parts of this zone are included in maritime territorial agreements that Guyana, Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago are expected to sign soon.

Therefore, Lashley said he believed CARICOM leaders must engage Venezuela with a view to resolving the dispute.

Meanwhile, the former St Michael South-East Member of Parliament wants the heads of government, meeting here for their 36th annual summit, to put a structure in place to deal with the Dominican Republic’s planned expulsion of people of Haitian decent.

“If not, you are going to have thousands of Haitians being forced out of a Caribbean nation that would like to become part of CARICOM,” he said.

The CARICOM Secretariat has suspended Santo Domingo’s application to become a member of the regional bloc in protest against the deportation policy.

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