Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Letter of the Day | Regional and local silence on Venezuela unacceptable

Published:Thursday | May 19, 2016 | 5:26 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:
I completely agree with the writer of the letter about the local and regional lack of voices regarding the current political instability in Venezuela. It seems the Jamaican and Caribbean governments are showing themselves for what they are ­ only happy to receive and unwilling to give even verbal support for the country.
I consider CARICOM, the regional body which has been lurking in the governments of the Caribbean, whimpering about regionalism for the past 50 years, and not knowing what that really means, should be at the forefront of that charge.
Venezuela is in a deep crisis, and our regional body has not said a word or put forward any position to offer assistance to aid in any resolution.
This is a national disgrace while we sit contentedly on the millions of barrels of oil we have received from them at their expense over the many years, from which we failed to grow any meaningful economic value.
I know that Venezuela, regardless of who will be in power after this episode shakes out, will remember who came to their aid when the going got tough. Hopefully, they will emerge a stronger nation after this. Their current situations appears to be an unfortunate outcome of idealistic government based on impractical values.
The region needs to reach out to the parties involved over there. It should be pointed out that assistance comes in many forms and isn’t always in the form of cash, contrary to local political thought about appearances (optics). Or perhaps that is why they say nothing, they have no understanding of what it means to be supportive.


OPTIC OF THE LESSON


Their statement in the recent past about parliamentarians taking a pay cut was in their mind not a practical thing to do because not a great amount of money would be saved. They didn’t understand that the amount is meaningless, but the act of sharing in the burden and seen to be doing that matters, and is priceless. That is the optic of the lesson.
Jamaica needs to excuse itself from self-serving leadership which is not a partner for good times and bad times, both locally and in the region. I wait to see if there is anyone in Government or CARICOM who stands for anything in this matter.
Hugh M Dunbar, AIA
Jamaica, New York
e-hmdenergy@gmail.com