Security breach

Caracas envoy caught off guard by protestors

A diplomatic tiff appears to be brewing between Barbados and Venezuela, which has been under increasing pressure in recent weeks both at home and at the Organization of American States (OAS) to hold overdue elections.

Venezuela’s top diplomat here Wednesday warned Bridgetown against tolerating any acts of violence towards the Spanish-speaking country’s mission, and to honour its obligations under the Vienna Convention to “properly protect” the embassy.

Francisco Manuel Perez Santana Wednesday complained that the embassy in Hastings, Christ Church was under siege for two hours last Thursday, seemingly by Venezuelans opposed to the Nicolas Maduro government, yet the level of security was inadequate to prevent the troubling incident.

These local protestors have been making known their opposition to the Maduro administration. Here, members of the group gathered last Thursday outside the Venezuelan embassy for a candlelight vigil.

“Diplomatic missions must be properly protected under the Vienna Convention. We have acted in accordance with international standards and above all, we want to maintain good relations that have always existed between Barbados and Venezuela for more than 40 years. We would not like to see excessive permissiveness [by Barbados] and the violation of the Vienna Convention,” Perez told the media at a press conference Wednesday morning.

The head of mission explained that a group of 28 Venezuelans living in Barbados and in other countries breached the embassy’s secure zone and threatened and cursed the diplomats and staff trapped inside, and leaving behind a littered compound.

Perez added that worryingly, the protesters threatened to return, raising concerns about the security and well-being of the staff.    

“We have been threatened with more sieges, with more insults. We will not allow that and we ask the Government of Barbados to also act to prevent this from continuing.

“Once the demonstrators withdrew from the security zone, the chief of the diplomatic mission and local workers proceeded to clean up the garbage they had left and deposited at the entrance to the embassy. At approximately 8:10 p.m. embassy workers were approached by five opposition Venezuelan women in Barbados, who with a violent attitude proceeded to pronounce offensive and threatening words and speeches against the head of the mission and Venezuelan workers,” he said.

Venezuelan Ambassador Francisco Manuel Perez Santana shows a graph detailing the number of deaths caused by the ongoing Caracas protests.

The top diplomat said the matter was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Attempts to reach Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxine McClean were unsuccessful up to the time of publication.

Venezuela has been hit by a series of deadly protests over the past several weeks as the opposition continues to demand elections.

At the same time, OAS general secretary Luis Almagro has been pushing for Caracas’ suspension from the hemisphere’s oldest regional alliance, and has described Maduro as a “dictator” guilty of widespread human rights violations.

He has the support of the organization’s largest members, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and Colombia.

Almagro’s efforts have split the 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that are members of the OAS, leading Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines to write his counterparts last week, warning them of the dangers of allowing “a handful of powerful countries with an agenda of naked self interest” to dilute CARICOM’s collective strength by dividing the regional states in a bid to overthrow the Venezuela government.

The split was evident when Barbados and four other CARICOM countries joined the bigger nations within the OAS permanent council on April 26 in summoning an emergency meeting of ministers of foreign affairs to discuss the worsening situation in Venezuela.

Perez said the violence at home was nowhere near as bad as the international media was making it out to be, and those behind the demonstrations were trying to overthrow the Maduro administration.

But it was the potential for violence against the embassy here the worried him most, although he insisted last week’s protest would not deter staff from fulfilling their responsibility to Venezuelan citizens here.

“We condemn all violent actions. Our diplomatic mission will continue to carry out the activities and tasks that correspond to us and that are contemplated in the Vienna Convention. Today more than ever, we continue to advance and contribute to the constituent process of our president, Nicolas Maduro.

“The diplomats faced with these threats responded with dignity, with respect and with the guarantee that the responsibility of the Venezuelan diplomatic mission abroad is to guarantee the rights of all Venezuelans living in the country. We represent not just a government, we represent the entire nation,” he said.
colvillemounsey@barbadostoday.bb

7 Responses to Security breach

  1. DE May 18, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Why is it that our government leader are always being a follower and not a LEADER, when it comes to situation like these.

    Mr. Prime Minister, You need to LOOK before you LEAP.

    Reply
  2. Peter May 18, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Madura’s Venezuelan’s diplomatic mission here has “warned” Barbados against supporting its suffering, struggling opposition peoples. Warning? Or else what? They want to bully Guyana but the USA is waiting on their backsides. They are bribing Caribbean governments with the gift of oil. well Madura and company, US multibillion dollar owned and operated Oil company EXXON has found an over abundance of oil and natural gas IN GUYANA’S WATERS, and the extraction/drilling costs are a fraction of the costs of other oil producing nations worldwide. As I understand it Guyana and Barbados are two very closely connected countries both peoples and cultures. Check Names, and descendants and ancestral history. The St. George’s church, the largest wooden structure in the world was built by Bajans. Check the telephone directory and see the similarity in names and hoe they are spelt. Anyhow, Guyana has pledged to sell oil to Barbados at same price they negotiated with from EXXON. It is up to the Barbadian government of the day to not mark it up and sell it back to Barbadians for a significant profit. That’s what this DEMs government is doing right now. That’s why things are so damn expensive out here. they ate making a profit off our backs because world prices are low on the oil trade market. It’s an avenue of revenue for them and disguised as high cost of living. Why do you think Sir Kyffin bought over sixty thousand acres of rice proficing land in west bank Demerara It’s his foothold for when the oil is ready to be marketed.

    Reply
  3. Robertson S. Henry May 18, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I have been concerned from the very first time Amalgro made certain statements. This is not right for persons in his position to make such statements.

    He brought the OAS into disrepute and as such, the region will suffer form American bullying for if Cuba and Venezuela bows under such pressure, then the rest of the region will become truly puppets dance with American strings attached.

    Reply
  4. Ivana Cardinale May 18, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Peter you are from Guyana, a bi-colony from the UK and US. Your country is not independent. Washington now rules even more in Georgetown than Britain. Exxon paid Granger’s presidential campaign, so, MONEY TALKS, MONEY WALKS… and you seem to forget your past and your slave ancestors, oppressed by the people that you kneel to.

    Reply
    • Peter May 18, 2017 at 4:34 pm

      Ola chocha dulce, Mi no vive en Guyana. Comprende? Madura esta es loco. When Guyana begins drilling watch the amount of Venezuelans that will cross the border. Get real lady. Help take Venezuela back to its glory days a time where you and yours will be free to do what you want. Do it or you will end up like Haiti and Somalia. Better still I’m sure you’re enjoying life here in Barbados.

      Reply
  5. Jennifer May 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Why would anyone in their right minds think that all the people who comment on here has slave ancestors is beyond me. All races comment on here. Think.

    Reply
  6. Mirna Vegas de Hughes May 18, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    @Robertson S. Henry, check Insulza position when the Hondura trouble. No difference.

    As for Ivana or Chocha Dulce as Peter called her, she finally said something that makes sense and she seems to know how it works… MONEY TALKS… but something else walks. Still nothing substantial from someone who’s being paid by the regime to defend it. Very poor job.

    Reply

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