CASTRIES – Outgoing Caribbean Community (CARICOM) chairman, Dr Timothy Harris, yesterday praised the regional integration grouping for its stance on the economic and political situation in Venezuela, saying it must remain an honest broker in the South American country.
Harris, who is also the Prime Minister of St Kitts-nevis, said the attempt at resolving the situation where opposition parties backed by the United States and some western countries are seeking to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office.
Harris, who is leading a threemember CARICOM team tasked with pushing the region’s position on Venezuela, told the opening ceremony of the CARICOM summit “our engagement in the attempts at resolving the situation in Venezuela has clearly demonstrated that there is a role for us to play.
“It also is now quite clear that our principled stance enunciated from the outset and our approach are now being accepted by other parties.”
He said that CARICOM has held talks with various stakeholders on the issue and have consistently argued that the cardinal principles to undergird a resolution of the political crisis in Venezuela include: non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, inviolability of the sovereign state, respect for democracy, rule of law and the constitution of Venezuela, peace and resolution of conflict.
Harris said that the Montevideo Mechanism provides a guide to achieve peaceful resolution. Its core imperatives are dialogue, negotiation, commitment and implementation. (CMC)