CARICOM Chair holds high-level meetings at UN on Venezuelan crisis

PM Harris leads CARICOM Delegation in meeting with H.E. Maria Espinosa Garces (Photos via SKNIS)
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(St Kitts and Nevis Information Service): Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, [on] January 29 held several high-level meetings at the Trinidad and Tobago Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York surrounding the unsatisfactory political situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Dr. Harris met with United Nations President of the General Assembly, H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés; Nicaragua UN PR H.E. Mr. Jaime Hermida Castillo; Australia UN PR H.E. Ms. Gillian Bird; South Africa UN PR H.E. Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila; Ambassador of Uruguay, H.E. Mr. Elbio Oscar Rosselli Frieri; Ambassador of Brazil H.E. Mauro Luiz Locker Vieira; and South African Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Jerry Matthews Matjila.

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Thirty-five -year-old Opposition Leader, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, declared himself interim head of state and has called for fresh elections, claiming that President Nicolás Maduro Moros is illegitimate President of Venezuela because of alleged irregularities including vote rigging in the General Elections of 2018.

President Maduro was sworn in before the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) to begin a six-year term on January 10, 2019, with delegations from 94 countries in attendance. Since his inauguration, there have been mass demonstrations in the country led by Guaidó. Countries including the US, France, Spain, Germany, Britain, Canada and several Latin American have thrown their support behind Guaidó. Others including China, Russia and Cuba have backed President Maduro.

On Monday, 28 January, a delegation of the CARICOM comprising the Honourable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; the Honourable Peter David, Foreign Minister of Grenada; Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General, as well as the Permanent Representatives to the United Nations of these countries led by Chairman Prime Minister Harris met with UN Secretary-General H.E. Antonio Guterres to discuss the situation in Venezuela. The CARICOM has called for a peaceful resolution to the situation.

A communique from CARICOM stated that “The United Nations Secretary General extended his offer of good offices, circumstances permitting, to facilitate dialogue and negotiation between the parties. The CARICOM delegation indicated its readiness to work assiduously to bring the parties to the negotiating table.”

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