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Hanna wants gov't to reconsider closure of Jamaican embassy in Venezuela

Published:Thursday | March 21, 2019 | 10:01 AM
Lisa Hanna - Contributed photo

Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Lisa Hanna is expressing shock at the government’s plan to temporarily close the Jamaican embassy in Caracas, Venezuela.  

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Kamina Johnson Smith made the announcement yesterday indicating that the move will take effect on April 1.

In a statement, Hanna argued that this latest move appears to halt diplomatic relations with a longstanding ally.

“Never before has Jamaica walked this road, not only are we eroding our longstanding traditions of remaining objective interlocutors, able to assist with a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Venezuela, but we are setting a dangerous precedent by doing what appears to be the bidding of other powers,” She said.

Closing the embassy, Hanna argued, is leaving Jamaicans in Venezuela without access to assistance which the embassy would normally provide. 

“This sudden move on the eve of Prime Minister Holness’ meeting with President Trump is reminiscent of the GOJ ’s announcement to expropriate PDVSA shares in Petrojam right before it voted in support of the USA resolution at the OAS not to recognise the Madura Administration.”

The opposition spokesperson said her party has serious concerns for the rights of the people of Venezuela, and want to see a brighter future for a country which has been Jamaica’s friend during very difficult times.

“We cannot just pack up and walk away from them now just because others may be pressuring us to do so. We must maintain our reputation as a country of principle and not a country with our hands out to be treated as mendicants at the will of the more powerful,” Hanna said

Hanna said for the government to truly play a role in helping the people of Venezuela, especially during this time, it must keep the Jamaican Embassy open and therefore reconsider the decision.

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