THE EDITOR, Sir:
The sanctimonious ranting of Carol Narcisse criticising the size of the Jamaican delegation to the state funeral of Hugo Chávez is too much of an important national issue of concern to be left unchallenged.
One should anticipate the feverish behind-the-scenes diplomatic overtures by the Jamaican delegation to stave off any deviation from the existing energy policy in Caracas, given the catastrophic consequences for Jamaica if it does.
Under these circumstances, you would need a Spanish interpreter with the sensitivity, experiences and knowledge of an Angela Brown Burke in those discussions. The minister of foreign affairs, A.J. Nicholson, along with former ambassador to Venezuela, Clifton Stone, a seasoned diplomat, must seize the moment to engage not only Chávez's hand-picked successor, Nicolás Maduro, but to make a case for Jamaica with the opposing candidate Henrique Capriles in a delicate balancing act, to bury Caesar, not to praise him, mindful of presidential elections scheduled for April 14. That could go anywhere.
ENERGY MINISTER A MUST, too
It would be obligatory not only for Minister of Energy Phillip Paulwell to be part of that delegation, but he would need a retinue of technical personnel to consolidate the architecture for Jamaica's energy sector that relies so heavily on our continued good relationship with Venezuela.
This is no ordinary funeral. The cost of the delegation is insignificant given what is at stake. Senator Montague knew this and was prepared to put politics aside.
Our level of indebtedness to Venezuela requires a public display of grief, sorrow and lamentation, with the hope that the people and government of Venezuela will look with pity on a desperate nation and honour the legacy of a fallen comrade with the continuation of the PetroCaribe deal.
O. DAVE ALLEN