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  • President Nicolas Maduro has explicitly invited the opposition to engage in dialogue.

    President Nicolas Maduro has explicitly invited the opposition to engage in dialogue. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 23 February 2019

While the leaders recognize Venezuela's need for humanitarian aid, they denounce the U.S. politicizing the delivery of resources. 

Five former CARICOM leaders released a statement Friday, addressing their concern regarding the current situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The group insists "that no action be taken that would jeopardize these fundamental principles of international law."

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The tone of the release follows an ultimatum established by Juan Guaido, Venezuelan opposition lawmaker, for the delivery of "humanitarian aid" from the United States. The promise of aid comes exactly one month after Guaido illegally declared himself interim president of Venezuela, which the United States immediately recognized, in an attempt to delegitimize President Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela responded to the imposition by closing the nation's border with Colombia due to serious and illegal threats to the sovereignty of the Republic, one day after the closure of the country's border with Brazil.

The statement warns that the continuation of intervention would "prove inconsistent with the principles of independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity."

While the former leaders recognize Venezuela's need for humanitarian aid, they denounce the U.S. politicizing the delivery of resources. Bolivian President Evo Morales even referred to the strategy of delivering the so-called aid to Venezuela as a "Trojan Horse." The Caribbean ex-prime ministers suggested that aid be delivered under the observation of the United Nations

"The whole CARICOM received help from Venezuela so why shouldn't we, in turn, show our gratitude and send [...] our commitment and solidarity with these Venezuelan people who are suffering," Said Musa, former prime minister of Belize stated, while citing Venezuela as a resource-rich country, and a friend of Belize.

The ex-leaders ask for solidarity and that countries seek a peaceful approach to the situation in Venezuela, without threats of violence or military intervention. Democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro has explicitly invited the opposition to engage in dialogue, in order to restore and resume diplomatic mechanisms. 

The statement was issued by former prime ministers of Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Saint Lucia, and Antigua & Barbuda. 

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