CARICOM leaders appeal for calm in Venezuela

The 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Tuesday appealed for “calm and peace” in Venezuela where Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó has embarked upon what he called the final phase of the plan to oust President Nicolas Maduro from office.

CARICOM Chairman and St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris in a statement said that the region had been appraised of the situation in Venezuela, which appears to be nearing a boiling point.

Harris said he had also been in contact with other CARICOM leaders and the CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque on the unfolding situation in Caracas.

“I appeal for calm and peace,” Harris said, while reiterating his pledge that CARICOM will continue to make every effort to help bring a peaceful resolution to Venezuela’s political crisis.

“My colleague Heads of Government and I are collectively charged with ensuring the continued security and stability of our beloved Caribbean region,” Harris said, noting “this responsibility is our first and foremost priority as we work in unison to safeguard our people’s future.

“CARICOM has been working earnestly to promote meaningful dialogue and diplomacy, as well as a four-phased process called the Montevideo Mechanism whose aim is an inclusive and lasting solution. Such a considered approach can only redound to the benefit of the country and people of Venezuela and, by extension, the countries and citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean,” he said.

Harris is scheduled to visit Costa Rica next week for follow up discussions with the International Contact Group (ICG) on Venezuela.