CARICOM-Mexico-Uruguay-led Conference on the Situation in Venezuela to be held Wednesday in Montevideo

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OPM, St.Kitts-Nevis  –  The Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis – and members of his delegation touched down early Tuesday morning in Montevideo, Uruguay, where a CARICOM-Mexico-Uruguay-led conference on the situation in Venezuela is set to take place Wednesday, 6 February.

This afternoon, the Uruguayan Foreign Minister, Rodolfo Nin Novoa, hosted the CARICOM and Mexico delegations at a welcome luncheon ahead of tomorrow’s international conference in Montevideo.

From left – Foreign Minister, Belize, Hon Wilfred Elrington; Foreign Minister, Barbados, Hon Dr Jerome Walcott; CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque; Prime Minister, Barbados, Hon Mia Mottley; Official, Uruguay’s Foreign Ministry; Foreign Minister, Uruguay, HE Rodolfo Nin Novoa; CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr Timothy Harris; Prime Minister, Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley; Foreign Minister, Trinidad and Tobago, Hon Denis Moses; Foreign Minister, St. Kitts and Nevis, Hon Mark Brantley

Prime Minister Harris said last week during an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service and ZIZ TV, “Some may ask…‘Why are governments engaged?’”

In response, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said, “We have to be engaged because of the consequences, which I have outlined, for security, for our economy in terms of our tourism, for our energy security – all these things now are conversations that we have to have and studies about which we have to contemplate in terms of our future – and because we are so close to our neighbour’s house on fire, we have to be mindful that we take the necessary safeguards to preserve international principles.”

The Chairman of CARICOM continued, “We have articulated in each meeting [during CARICOM’s recent international diplomacy mission to the United Nations in New York, which he led] the principles, and that is what we are standing by – so it’s not that we have, as it were, a horse in the race in Venezuela.  The principles, which come readily to mind, include non-interference in the states and non-intervention, and these are well documented in the United Nations Charter.  We support the principle of rule of law, of democracy, constitutional order, and the right to self-determination.  All of these are well enshrined in the United Nations Charter, and that is why we went there.”

Vice Minister for Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maximiliano Reyes writes in a column for EurActiv: “Moreover, in response to the call of Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, Mexico, Uruguay and CARICOM, driven by our legitimate interest and willingness to help the Venezuelan people and the actors involved to find a solution to their differences, propose the creation of a concertation mechanism.  We hope that this effort will be a shared one in order to advance together and reach a peaceful resolution of the current dispute in Venezuela.”

Reyes adds: “The Montevideo Mechanism does not weaken regional multilateralism but rather strengthens it, by creating a constructive angle of discussion with the clear conviction that democracy is a process inherent to its people: free of interference but fully compliant to the rule of law and human rights.”

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