Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Reprehensible! Hanna blasts gov't over OAS vote

Published:Saturday | January 12, 2019 | 10:21 AM
Hanna...Jamaica’s vote departed from the traditional principles on which the nation has relied for decades.

The parliamentary Opposition has described as reprehensible the decision taken by the Jamaican government not to recognise the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro's new term as Venezuelan President.

On Thursday, Jamaica and 18 other countries in the Organisation of American States (OAS) voted in favour of a resolution not to recognise Maduro’s legitimacy.

Opposition spokesperson on foreign affairs and foreign trade Lisa Hanna acknowledging that there may be clear differences with aspects of the internal arrangements in Venezuela, but says Jamaica’s vote departed from the traditional principles on which the nation has relied for decades.

As a result, Hanna says this has brought Jamaica’s image in the international community into “disgrace.”

“Jamaica has always stood firm on principles in forging its international diplomatic relationships. Central to these principles has been a commitment to non-interference in the internal affairs of all nations and the peaceful resolution of disputes,” she asserted.

Through this approach, she says, Jamaica has been able to build a wide ranging set of relationships and alliances which, among other things, has made us a central player in the movement of non-aligned states.

“We are friends of many and the enemy of none”, she emphasised.

“Throughout our history and even until today, Jamaica, as an independent country, has maintained wide ranging relationships with diverse countries with differing political systems, ideologies and electoral arrangements,” Hanna noted.

Maintaining these relationships, she pointed out, has never meant validation of the particular policies or internal political arrangements of the various countries.

The Opposition spokesperson noted, also, that Jamaica’s decision not to recognise Maduro’s legitimacy goes against the deep “historical friendship and association” between both countries for more than 40 years. 

“It is undeniable that they have been a helpful friend to Jamaica. The country can recall that when the price of oil was prohibitively high, Venezuela extended a helpful hand through PetroCaribe,” she said of the oil purchasing agreement between the two countries.

“This is certainly not the way to treat the people or government that has been a hemispheric partner for Jamaica through PetroCaribe, the debt buy-back, through periods of national disaster,” Hanna said.

“Instead, the government seems intent on joining others in their hostile attitude towards a country and government which has extended goodwill to us,” she said.

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