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Bahamas wants CARICOM to be resolute on its position on Venezuela


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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Feb 5, CMC – The Bahamas government is urging the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping to be “resolute” in establishing a framework and a timetable to implement concrete measures to end the political instability in Venezuela as the region prepares to participate in an international conference to be held in Uruguay on the ongoing political situation in the South American country.

Bahamas Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis in a letter to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque regarding the region’s participation in the Thursday’s conference in Montevideo being organised by Mexico and Uruguay, said Bahamas remains convinced that “CARICOM can play a useful role in forging a productive outcome that will lead to the return of stability and peace in Venezuela”.

St. Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris will lead a CARICOM delegation to the conference. Harris, who is the CARICOM chairman, will be accompanied by his Barbados counterpart, Mia Mottley and the Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. keith Rowley.

CARICOM leaders have called for a non-interventionist policy regarding Venezuela where Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó, backed by the United States and several other western countries, has declared himself the interim leader of the South American country.

But Russia, China and Cuba are among countries that are supporting President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn into office last month for a second consecutive term as head of state.

The governments of Mexico and Uruguay have called for the conference with representatives from the main countries and international organisations that hold a neutral position towards Venezuela.

The purpose of the conference is to lay the foundation for establishing a new mechanism for dialogue that, with the inclusion of all Venezuelan forces, will contribute to restoring stability and peace in that country.

But Guaido said last Friday he had turned down the request to participate in the talks and had written to the leaders of both Uruguay and Mexico urging them to back the struggle to remove Maduro.

In his letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), Prime Minister Minnis said Nassau remains “firmly committed to the principles of non-intervention, peaceful dialogue, pacific resolution of disputes, democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights”.

He said the Bahamas’s position on the situation in Venezuela is a matter of record.

“The Bahamas supports the convening of this conference and the participation of CARICOM. The conference must have as its primary objective establishing a framework and a timetable to implement concrete measures to end the political instability in Venezuela and to address the well documented human suffering of the people of Venezuela,” Minnis wrote.

“CARICOM should be resolute on this position,” he added.

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