Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Venezuela not on CARICOM heads of Government meeting agenda

Published:Monday | July 3, 2017 | 7:20 PM
Demonstrators look back during protests in Caracas, Venezuela, on Thursday. – AP

CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque says the unfolding political situation in Venezuela, is not on the agenda for the CARICOM heads of Government meeting, which begins in Grenada tomorrow.

However, LaRocque told a news conference today that it could be added when the agenda is adopted on Wednesday morning.

Opposition supporters have been taking to the streets in Caracas demanding the removal of President Nicolas Maduro.

The demonstrations have resulted in the deaths of several Venezuelans.

However, CARICOM appears to be divided on the issue, with St Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica among those countries urging the Caribbean not to interfere in the internal affairs of the South American country.

There has been a brewing argument between regional politicians over the matter.

Former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has rebuked Antiguan Prime Minister Gaston Browne and his Vincentian counterpart, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, for their warnings against countries like Jamaica participating in certain talks at the Organisation of American States.

Gonsalves and Browne claim the OAS talks could be used to support the removal of President Nicolas Maduro, whose socialist country provides oil to CARICOM states under favourable loan terms.

However, Golding has insisted that Jamaica should not blindly support Venezuela simply because it has provided cheap oil to the region.