Antigua and Barbuda plays role in release of Venezuela opposition leader

The Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
The Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda

Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda were engaged in “quiet diplomacy” with Venezuelan officials over the last few months to promote confidence-building measures such as the release from jail of Mr Leopoldo Lopez, Venezuelan opposition leader, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Gaston Browne said.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Prime Minister Browne welcomed the news of Mr. Lopez’ release.

“My government regards the news of Mr Lopez’s release from prison as a positive step, particularly in light of the offer of CARICOM’s Heads of Government to play a mediating role if all the parties in Venezuela wish it,” the Prime Minister said in the statement.


Please see statement below:

 

Statement by Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda on the news of the release from prison in Venezuela of Leopoldo Lopez

 JOHN’S, Antigua and Barbuda – 8th July, 2017 – I welcome the news of the release of Leopoldo Lopez from prison in Venezuela.

His release should be regarded as a confidence building measure between the Government and opposition political parties in Venezuela in efforts to reinvigorate a dialogue between them that leads to a Venezuelan solution to the political impasse and economic and social difficulties facing the country.

I urge all parties to seize this good faith measure to engage in the dialogue that is required in the interest of the people of their country.

I can reveal that, over the last few months, representatives of my government have engaged in quiet diplomacy with Venezuelan officials in promotion of confidence building measures, such as the release from jail of Mr Lopez.

In addition to conversations with Venezuelan representatives of the government and the opposition, our Ambassador to the Organisation of American States, Sir Ronald Sanders, also accepted a call last month from Lilian Tintori, the wife of Leopoldo Lopez.

We believe in offering a helping hand to the parties and not in interference or intervention.

My government regards the news of Mr Lopez’s release from prison as a positive step, particularly in light of the offer of CARICOM’s Heads of Government to play a mediating role if all the parties in Venezuela wish it.