Foreign Ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) gathered in Bridgetown, Barbados, at the Twentieth Meeting of the Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) deliberated on the changes taking place in the international environment as well as in their wider regional environment and on their implications for the coordinated foreign policy positioning of their countries.
They reiterated the importance they accord to maintenance of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy, as well as to the fundamental principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of states. These values and principles were viewed as being of paramount importance when addressing international situations of concern.
The Foreign Ministers were united in their view that respect for these values and principles would prove valuable and pertinent in addressing concerns over the situation in Venezuela. Persuaded that the solution to the present situation had to be sought internally, supported by a mediated process, they were of the view that the deeply entrenched positions needed to be softened so that trust could be built on both sides in order to facilitate dialogue so that the people of Venezuela could peacefully overcome their crisis.
Foreign Ministers decried the violence taking place and deplored the resulting loss of life and property.
CARICOM Foreign Ministers have welcomed Venezuela’s decision to receive a United Nations Technical team which will provide recommendations to the UN Secretary-General on the way forward to a full and final solution to the Guyana/Venezuela territorial controversy.
The Council for Foreign Ministers of the Caribbean Community (COFCOR) met on 29 September, 2015, in the margins of this week’s 70th Session of The United Nations General Assembly in New York, and was briefed by Guyana’s Vice-President and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Carl Greenidge on the recent developments with respect to the territorial controversy with Venezuela. The Ministers noted that the decision by CARACAS to receive the UN Team in the shortest possible time will hasten the efforts aimed at bringing that controversy to an early end.
The Ministers welcomed Sunday’s meeting convened by the UN Secretary-General with the Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela and noted that Venezuela’s decision to return its ambassador to Guyana and to grant agrément to the Ambassador Designate of Guyana to Venezuela would set a firm basis for the return of full-fledged diplomatic relations between Guyana and Venezuela.
The Ministers noted Guyana’s call for a juridical solution to the controversy, given the divergence of views between the two sides about the validity and nullity of the Arbitral award of 3rd October 1899. They underscored the need for the Caribbean region to be maintained as a Zone of Peace.
Happening Sunday night: : Guyana’s President David Granger meeting with Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon at the UN Headquarters. (Photo – Ministry of the Presidency, Guyana)
The four countries are Guyana, Haiti, Belize and Jamaica and it’s a move other countries should follow, said David Voght, managing director of energy consultancy IPD Latin America.
The future of the $8 billion PetroCaribe subsidy, which also allows countries to finance part of their oil purchases at 1 percent for 25 years, is looking less secure as Venezuela faces inflation that had risen to 63 percent and the world’s widest budget deficit.