ICG discussions on Venezuela productive – CARICOM Chair
(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 describes his discussions in Costa Rica this week with the International Contact Group (ICG) on Venezuela as “quite productive.” The ICG is comprised of countries from the European Union and Latin America, including Costa Rica.
“The crux of my presentation was to set out the principles undergirding CARICOM’s enlightened and principled response to the crisis in Venezuela,” Prime Minister Harris said at the National Assembly sitting of 9 May 2019 in St. Kitts and Nevis.
At Tuesday’s ICG breakfast meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, the CARICOM Chairman reaffirmed the Caribbean Community’s guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for the constitutional order and democracy.
CARICOM’s Chairman also told the ICG that the Venezuelan people must be key stakeholders in Venezuela’s future, noting, “The time to put the people of Venezuela first is now.” This is a position that Chairman Harris voiced again today.
“It bears reiterating that there is a need for a de-escalation of the tensions in Venezuela – a coordinated and extraordinary humanitarian response through the mechanism of the United Nations, dialogue between the contending parties in Venezuela, commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis, and outcomes determined by and for the people of Venezuela,” the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis said in the Parliament while updating the nation on his official trip to Costa Rica.
After his intelligent and impassioned presentation in Costa Rica, the Chairman of CARICOM received commendations for his eloquent delivery of the compelling argument that the will of the people should come first.
Addressing the ICG on Tuesday, Chairman Harris said, “We really want to be an honest broker in the crisis. The CARICOM group is neither pro-Maduro nor pro-Guaidó. That determination is for the people of Venezuela alone.”
The ICG issued a statement Tuesday after its ministerial meeting in Costa Rica. The statement’s final point said, “The International Contact Group will continue to engage with its regional and international partners towards a political, peaceful and democratic solution. It welcomes the participation of the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis -in its capacity of Chair of the CARICOM-, the Secretary General of the CARICOM and the representative from the Holy See in the outreach session of the meeting. It also welcomes and accepts the invitation extended by the Lima Group of countries to meet. It has decided to have similar exchanges with CARICOM countries and other relevant interlocutors. The group has also decided to convene again at ministerial level, in the near future, to assess developments and decide next steps.”