CARICOM foreign ministers reiterate region’s non-interference position on Venezuela

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) foreign ministers have reiterated the region’s non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela where opposition forces backed by the United States are seeking to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro.

The foreign ministers, who ended a two-day meeting on Tuesday, “expressed deep concern over the ongoing events in that country”.

The Council for Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) meeting which was chaired by Grenada’s Foreign Minister Peter David, said after receiving an “update” on the situation in the South American country “reaffirmed its guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, prohibition of the threat or use of force, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for the constitutional framework and democracy.

“The council reiterated CARICOM’s position that the people of Venezuela must be allowed to determine their own future through a meaningful and internal dialogue between the contending parties<‘ according to the communique issued after the meeting.

“This dialogue must determine how best the crisis can be resolved within the confines of the constitution and the rule of law, whether by referendum, elections or any other agreed mechanism. To this end, CARICOM will intensify its efforts to engage in dialogue with all parties,” the communique noted.

Several people have been killed and others injured since the Opposition Leader, Juan Guaidó, called on the military to support the move to remove Maduro from power. But the army appears to be remaining loyal to Maduro.

In January, Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim leader, and he has been recognised by more than 50 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and most of Latin America.