Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that the fact that 5 Caribbean leaders unilaterally decided to meet the U.S. President without CARICOM members was 'troubling'.
Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said that the meetings between the United States President Donald Trump and some Caribbean leaders are “troubling.”
Five Leaders of Caribbean nations met with the U.S. President Friday to discuss how the U.S. could be more involved in the region.
As the current chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis was not invited to the meeting, there was no true representation of the region.
Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Allen Chastanet; President of the Dominican Republic, Danilo Medina; Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness; Haitian President, Jovenel Moise and Prime Minister of the Bahamas, Hubert Minnis met with the U.S. President.
These leaders are supportive of Trump administration’s stance on Venezuela. They have also aligned themselves to the Lima Group, a part of the Organization of American States (OAS) which has been aligning itself with the U.S. by recognizing the opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido as the so called “interim president” of Venezuela instead of the democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro.
“None of those persons were invited and for it to be a true CARICOM representation you must at least have the chairman” so that any discussion on Venezuela actually represents what CARICOM wants.
CARICOM has always stood against intervention in Venezuela and opposed U.S. sanctions on the South American country.
According to Gonsalves, the actions of the U.S. concerning Venezuela as “a creeping coup d’etat” against a legitimate government and Caricom will not fall victim to this entrapment.
The five leaders who met with Trump spoke of energy agreements. The PetroCaribe agreement allowed Caribbean nations to receive a stable supply of oil and gas from Venezuela.
However, after sanctions being imposed on it, the agreement ceased and for Gonsalves, it will be “ridiculous” for Caribbean states to abide by an energy agreement bycoup d’etat perpetrators .
“We are not supporting the principle of non-intervention and non-interference and no threat or force or sanctions… because we have a Petro agreement. We are doing so because of high principle and our commitment to international law.”