|MSJ calls on Caricom to support Maduro |
Monday, June 19 2017
CARICOM nations must oppose United States-led attempts to condemn Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro at today’s meeting of the Organisation of American States (OAS) in Mexico, urged Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) head David Abdulah in a statement yesterday.
“At the last meeting of OAS foreign ministers in Washington, Caricom countries took a united position and defeated the concerted attempt by a minority of OAS member states, led by the United States, to pass a Resolution condemning Venezuela,” he related.
“The Caricom representatives at that meeting, held on May 31, 2017, countered with a resolution of their own, which called for respectful dialogue on the issue of the conflict in Venezuela. The Caricom Resolution was adopted.” However Abdulah said that since that meeting the US has applied almost unprecedented to Caricom countries to abandon their principled position of non-interference in the internal affairs of a state and respect for the sovereignty of all nation states. These principals are accepted international norms, yet are often violated by large, powerful states in their own self-interest.
“In this regard, the position taken by Prime Minister Rowley on the removal of the Luis Almagro as Secretary General of the OAS was absolutely the correct one.” Abdulah was worried by last week’s visit to this country by a top official of the US State Department – Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs Francisco Palmieri.
“His visit was an open effort to try to get the Trinidad and Tobago government to change its position on Venezuela.” Abdulah also condemned a recent letter to the editor in a local newspaper from local US Embassy Charge d’Affaires John McIntyre, attacking the elected government of Maduro.
“This letter is filled with hypocrisy given the situation in the United Sates where discrimination, racism pervades a system that results in the highest prison population in the world, most inmates being men of colour.
“Just two days ago, the US President, who had no difficulty being hosted by the un-elected rulers of Saudi Arabia, went on the offensive against another Caribbean country – Cuba. It is very clear that the US, as in the past and particularly now, under Trump, is intent on implementing the old, imperialist agenda of hegemony over Latin America and the Caribbean. This must not be allowed to happen unchallenged.” Abdulah said US Embassies regionally including Guyana had issued similar letters to the editor.
The meeting of the OAS in Mexico starting tomorrow, will therefore be extremely crucial. Caricom governments must not be bullied, coerced or bought by offers of aid etc, to alter their principled position.
The MSJ urged all Caricom governments to stand united at the OAS; and to demand the OAS encourages dialogue between the Venezuela Government and Opposition towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict under the Venezuelan Constitution and with respect for its institutions, and for the idea of non-interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.