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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Feb 2, CMC – The Jamaica government, citing “certain developments over the last few days”, has decided against making a full statement as promised regarding its position on the ongoing political conflict in Venezuela.
Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith had last week in the senate promised to have made the statement on Friday but told legislators “when I gave that assurance, I fully intended to do so”.
“Regretfully, certain developments over the last few days have changed the circumstances within which I find myself ….and in those circumstances, I regretfully am not in a position to give that statement,” she told the senate.
Last week, Johnson Smith told the senate that Jamaica was in agreement with the statement issued by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders on the situation in Caracas where the Opposition Leader Juan Guaido has declared himself the interim president of the South American nation and who immediately received the support of Washington and some other countries.
President Nicolas Maduro was sworn into office for a another five-year term last month, but some Caribbean countries, including Jamaica, joined the United States in voting on a resolution of the Organization of American States (OAS) in not recognising Maduro.
CARICOM leaders met with United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterras and representatives of several countries at the UN earlier this week and on Thursday, Jamaica was among regional countries that backed a decision by a CARICOM delegation, headed by its Chairman, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris of St. Kitts-Nevis, to attend an international meeting on Venezuela to be held in Uruguay on February 7.
In the senate, Friday, opposition Senator Lambert Brown expressed concern that there was still no statement on Jamaica’s position regarding Venezuela.
“I want to know whether or not, having gone publicly on something, whether the government wishes to tell us whether or not they are engaged in negotiations with the government of Venezuela, and if that is the reason why they are not willing to make a statement to date. And if so, is it the government recognised by Trump or is it the government.”