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(SNO) — As the political crisis in Venezuela continues unabated, Saint Lucia has stated that only Venezuelans should determine their future through new elections.
Speaking to reporters outside parliament on Tuesday, Minister responsible for External Affairs, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, stressed the importance of new elections in the Spanish-speaking South American country.
“There is an issue in Venezuela which cannot continue in its present way,” she stated. “And clearly what is important is for there to be elections which the people regard as free and democratic.”
Maduro was sworn in recently for a second term as Venezuela’s president, despite an opposition boycott and international criticism that it was illegitimate.
The May 2018 polls, which Maduro said he won, were marred by an opposition boycott and vote-rigging claims.
The situation worsened when Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself as interim president, a move that was quickly recognized by the United States and other nations.
Only a handful but powerful group of nations, such as Russia, Turkey and China, continue to recognize Maduro.
Saint Lucia has already stated that it does not recognize the legitimacy of Maduro’s presidency but diplomatic relations with Venezuela continues.
Flood-Beaubrun said that elections is the only thing, in Saint Lucia’s view, that will resolve the situation which she described as “untenable”.
“And so that is what we continue to maintain that we would like to continue to see the region as a place of peace, that we would like to see the democratic order restored, we would like to see the people of Venezuela’s lives to be normalized as quickly as possible,” she stated. “But we’ve also maintained that is a matter for the people of Venezuela to resolve.”
She stated that the government will be holding a meeting to clarify its position on the matter.
“We know that there is a lot of diplomatic efforts being made at the moment and we continue to monitor the situation,” Flood-Beaubrun said.
She also said that Saint Lucia continues its diplomatic relationship with Venezuela.
“We recognize Venezuela as a friend, our relations have not been strained, we’ve been very open and frank and whatever decisions we’ve taken, we’ve taken in good faith in friendship and that is what continues,” she said.