Backing Maduro

Regime change in Venezuela not good for region, warns Gonsalves

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonsalves has warned Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments that regime change in Venezuela could have a negative impact on their countries.

His warning came ahead of the Organization of American States’ (OAS) three-day General Assembly in Cancun, Mexico where member countries Monday failed to reach agreement on a resolution criticizing the Nicolas Maduro administration which is under pressure to call elections.

In a June 16, 2017 letter, Gonsalves said “an activist quest for regime change” in Caracas was bound to destabilize CARICOM member states, particularly in the southern and eastern Caribbean.

“Venezuela has a population of 27 million possessed of abundant small arms, legal and illegal. A further exacerbation of the deepening political tensions by external intervention, in whatever guise, is likely to cause a flood of migrants, legal and illegal, onto our lands and seas,” he warned.

“Unwittingly, we may turn our peaceful geographic spaces into makeshift refugee settlements. Experience in today’s world teaches that this is not an alarmist scenario.”

In his correspondence, the Vincentian leader renewed his warning of “nefarious plans to sow deeds of division” among CARICOM countries, in light of what he said was a move by some to get adjustments made to the Declaration of Heads of State and Governments of CARICOM issued at the conclusion of their meeting on May 29.

OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro has been pushing for Caracas to be suspended from the hemispheric body if it does not swiftly hold general elections amid the economic and political crisis in the South American nation.

But in his letter, Gonsalves, a staunch Maduro supporter, said CARICOM had ensured that the minority member states of the OAS who were “itching for intervention in Venezuela, in pursuance of ignoble objectives under the tattered cloak of a contrived nobility, were kept at bay” when the declaration was passed.

The outspoken prime minister said the language in the declaration reflected the “collective wisdom of the highest decision-making body” of the CARICOM, having taken into account all the relevant facts, law and opinions.

He said “there are those who argue that the language of our declaration ought to be refined here and there”, but contended said Venezuelans must be allowed to resolve their intense political conflicts or challenges without “unwarranted meddling”.

“We in CARICOM must stand resolutely and unequivocally behind our declaration,” Gonsalves urged in his three-page letter, as he called for CARICOM to remain united.

“It is inconceivable to me as a matter of good governance, for Ambassadors, for whatever reason, to seek an unpicking of our declaration so as to accommodate those who seek only a fig leaf quasi-juridical endorsement at the OAS for thinly disguised imperial, hegemonic or narrow self-serving purposes.

“As far as St Vincent and the Grenadines is concerned, only the Heads of State and Governments of CARICOM possess the authority to amend [or] rescind an authoritative decision of the Heads. Any usurpation of such authority would render CARICOM a laughing stock and make its Heads’ decisions subject to a wholly unacceptable ambassadorial reconstruction. St Vincent and the Grenadines sees no need to change our Declaration one iota,” insisted Gonsalves, adding that the circumstances in Venezuela now are the same as they were on May 29, 2017 when the CARICOM leaders met.

Barbados had joined 18 other countries, including The Bahamas, Jamaica, Guyana and St Lucia, in approving a meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the deteriorating political and economic situation in Venezuela.

Former prime minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, in Monday’s edition of the Jamaica Gleaner, chided Gonsalves and his Antigua and Barbuda counterpart Gaston Browne for their “foolish” argument about non-interference in the Venezuela situation.

“I say it’s foolishness because the same argument could have been advanced for apartheid South Africa – ‘Why are you interfering in our domestic affairs?’ And, we (Jamaica) jolly well had to interfere,” he told the newspaper.

“It can’t be support for Venezuela absolutely because they’ve been good to us. Venezuela has been good to us, but the government of Venezuela has proceeded in a direction that we cannot condone.”

7 Responses to Backing Maduro

  1. Tee White June 20, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Bruce Golding doesn’t know what he is talking about. Apartheid South Africa was a racist settler colony and was opposed by decent people all over the world on the basis of opposition to colonialism and support for the right to self determination of colonised people. This has zero to do with the situation in Venezuela. The current CARICOM position is absolutely correct to call on all Venezuelans to try to resolve their differences peacefully. It would be criminal for us in the Caribbean to support the efforts of the US government to carry out regime change in Venezuela.

  2. Tony Webster June 21, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Its like Anansi said… a leopard …and spots. Remember sumptin’ called “Scientific Sociatism”, back in the 70’s….when Ralphie was filling young undergrads’ heads at Cave Hill, with garbage? Or sitting mendicantly at the table of the late (unlamented) Muammar Gaddafi, begging for a cash hand-out from bloody hands?

    As for what is right and good and proper for CARICOM to do… our own HOGS will continue munching away at their individual troughs while Maduro continues to pay his security forces to keep him and his henchmen in power. Yes, just like the Big Man in the D.R.C. , who also refuses to call elections, long time overdue.

    @ Tee White: your perspective might be a little different, if you actually were living the daily hell in Venezuela, or had good friends there who are begging you to send them some foodstuffs and medicines.

    • Tee White June 21, 2017 at 11:01 am

      @tony Webster please don’t try to assume some kind of moral superiority for your support for the US attempts to carry out regime change in Venezuela. There are milions of Venezuelans living through the difficult times that country is going through who strongly support the government and understand clearly that the shortages and violence are being deliberately stoked by the rich Venezuelans and the US Government in order to carry out regime change. The CARICOM position is correct for good Caribbean neighbours. We call on those who are stoking violence and economic disruption to stop, sit down with those Venezuelans who disagree with them and try to peacefully work out their differences. Why can’t you see that this is the only reasonable way forward?

    • Tee White June 21, 2017 at 11:09 am

      With regard to the ‘unlamented Muammar Gaddafi’, I guess that you are overjoyed that since Libya was ‘liberated’ by NATO, the country is in absolute chaos. The ordinary people have no physical security, no access to basic utilities like water and electricity and all the social benefits they had under the previous government, like free medical care, free education including university education and many others, no longer exist. And to top it all black people are being sold as slaves in that country now. If your care for the people of Venezuela is the same as for the people of Libya, it is clear that you hate them. Maybe that is why you are supporting the US regime change effort.

  3. Richard Johnston June 21, 2017 at 6:47 am

    He’s the one that led CARICOM into this impossible situation. He should take the blame.

  4. Alex Alleyne June 21, 2017 at 8:30 am

    The PM, AG and the POLICE CHIEF should take notice.

  5. Peter June 21, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    At the end of it all , EVERYONYONE WILL DIE. me, you, Trump, Obama, EVERY ONE. Even Fruendel and Chris, Carson C Cadogan, and Jennifer. No one can nor will escape that. A fly lives for about one week. A cockroach, about one month. It’s our life cycle. Mankind lasts about one thousand months (a little over 88 years. When we reach 65, we have one foot in the grave. We are more often than not a helpless liability. We are only considered an asset if our financial legacy is there to go into someone’s pocket. Then when we die, three months later we are forgotten . To conquer death, you only have to die. Where is hell? and where is heaven? NO ONE can tell because NO ONE has been to either of these places. Forget the bible. Man wrote that to entrap, enslave and control the minds of mankind. Prove otherwise. I know a lot of folks will disagree with me. Fact> We came empty handed and we leave empty handed. Not one person is excepted. Not even the Market Vendor. NOBODY.


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