Sun | Sep 24, 2017

OAS vote betrays Holness' words

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2017 | 6:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Many columns continue to be written in our newspapers concerning the heart-rending situation that now exists in Venezuela. In those columns, there are quite often expressions of pronounced agreement with the statements of our prime minister and foreign minister on the issues involved.

Well, their words are, of course, to be applauded. But, in seeking to help the people of Venezuela, as in so many turns along life's journey, action forever speaks far louder than words.

Jamaica's action regarding the plight of the Venezuelans, so far, has been our Organization of American States April vote. That vote struck at the heart of the tried and tested stance of non-intervention and other hallowed diplomatic positions that can easily be mouthed, but are sometimes extremely challenging to be acted upon meaningfully.

That action/vote cannot be reversed, and no number of verbal palliatives can remove that blot.

So the head of government and the foreign minister can certainly be applauded, as they should, for 'getting it right' by their statements on the "human tragedy" that has so unfortunately overtaken the people of Venezuela, as Daniel Thwaites has written in his latest column in The Sunday Gleaner.

However, when Jamaica was called upon to act, we allowed ourselves to be led astray by an errant OAS secretary general, Luis Almagro, action which the words of our leaders can unfortunately not now erase.

That recorded vote trumps all the praise that is being heaped upon them in the newspaper columns. For, that vote is in reality Jamaica's statement to the world about seeking to help our Venezuelan brothers and sisters in their season of distress.

There has been no expression of regret on the part of our leaders and so, the question is, can there be any redemption?

FLOYD MORRIS

Senator

Kingston 6