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“CARICOM governments must not be bullied, coerced, or bought by offers of aid, to alter their principled position,” the Movement for Social Justice said in a statement.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Movement for Social Justice called for a united front of the 15-member Caribbean Community in support of Venezuela at the meeting of the Organization of American States beginning Monday in Cancun, Mexico.
CARICOM adopted a resolution May 31, at an OAS meeting to discuss Venezuela, calling for a “respectful dialogue on the issue of the conflict in Venezuela” that is based on “noninterferencein the internal affairs and respect for the sovereignty of all nation-states. In so doing, Caribbean nations thwarted efforts led by the U.S. and its Latin American conservative allies against the Bolivarian government.
According to MSJ, CARICOM countries have received undue pressure from the United States to change their stance on Venezuela, “attacking Nicolas Maduro’s elected government.” “CARICOM governments must not be bullied, coerced, or bought by offers of aid, to alter their principled position,” the group’s statement said.
MSJ added that CARICOM governments must urge the OAS to adopt a position that would allow “dialogue between the government and opposition in Venezuela towards a peaceful resolution of the conflict within the context of the Venezuelan Constitution, respect for its institutions, and the regard for the ‘non-interference’ in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.”
The statement shed light on a visit by a senior U.S. official to Trinidad and Tobago two weeks ago. Francis Palmieri, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, visited the capital of Port of Spain, in “an open effort to change its position on Venezuela,”emphasizing how the U.S. under Trump’s leadership is “intent on implementing the old, imperialist agenda of hegemony over Latin America and the Caribbean,” pointing towards Cuba as Trump’s recent target.
“This must not be allowed to happen unchallenged,” MSJ said.
MSJ said that international relations norms that are widely accepted are often “violated” by the “large, powerful states for their own self-interest.”
The organization stood by Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley’s stance calling for the removal of OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro. Rowley said his country objected to Luis Almagro, because of the “very derogatory manner” in which he had engaged Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, the Jamaica Observer reported.
The annual meeting of the OAS begins June 19 and ends on June 21.