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CARICOM | Rowley Flays Trump Snub - Mottley wants zone of Peace

Featured Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley and Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amour Mottley Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley and Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amour Mottley
PORT-OF-SPAIN- Trinidad, March 22, 2019 - The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Dr. Keith Rowley is not perturbed by what is said to be a snub by the US President Trump in excluding TT from his meeting on Friday with five Caribbean leaders.

The leaders of the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia have been invited to meet with Trump at his private Mar-a-Lago resort to discuss the Chinese "predatory economic practices" and the Venezuela situation.

Washington had warned countries in the region about accepting Chinese investment. In October, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Mexico City that "when China comes calling it's not always to the good of your citizens."

"When they show up with deals that seem to be too good to be true it's often the case that they, in fact, are," Pompeo said. On Venezuela, the United States has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's interim president.

Rowley told yesterday's post-Cabinet briefing that a man’s house was his castle and so Trump was free to invite whomever he liked.
Prime Minister Rowley argued that TT’s stature on the world stage does not depend on whose private residence the country was invited to.

He said TT stood tall and proud over its non-interventionist stance towards Venezuela. Rowley said young TT nationals largely did not know of TT’s proud history of fairness on the world stage, ranging from being one of the first to recognise the People’s Republic of China, to opposing apartheid in South Africa to opposing the US invasion of Grenada in the 1980s.

He quoted at length from the UN Charter that was the basis for a policy of non-intervention in another nation’s affairs.

“We are standing up for these principles never mind, while we are doing our best, our detractors are doing their worst to misinform and undermine.”

“To reducing the people of TT’s position from the ones contained in the UN charter to talking about selling out 33 million people for the naked economic interest of a gas deal, as if we, proud Caribbean people are to be so insulted.”

Rowley said the Government’s only wish for Venezuela is peace, stability and prosperity, within the construct of sovereignty, peace and the protection of the UN Charter. “We wish for the people and children of Venezuela what we wish for ourselves: A life with dignity, fulfilment and self-determination.

In the meantime, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has reiterated the need for the Caribbean to remain a zone of peace and insisted that only the Venezuelans could decide on the future of that South American country.

She told Parliament Wednesday night while delivering her administration's 2019-20 national budget that “instability in Venezuela will undermine peace in the southern and eastern Caribbean as we are already seeing in Trinidad and Grenada.

“We have been in a zone of peace in the Caribbean for so long that we are in danger of underestimating how important it is for us to have a peaceful region. If, God forbid, there is military intervention in Venezuela, it would destabilise this region for a very long time and we could be living with the adverse social and human effects for a very long time after relating to refugees and other social instabilities that come with the movement of guns and trade of guns for basic food items,” she told legislators.

CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St Kitts-Nevis last month reiterated their position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and said they were prepared to mediate in the process to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis where Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó with the support of Washington and its allies are seeking to replace President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn into office for a second consecutive term earlier this year.

CARICOM chairman, Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris of St Kitts-Nevis, Mottley and Dr Keith Rowley also, met with the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, expressing optimism that the UN will assist in establishing the road map towards peace and security for Venezuela.

In addition, They also met in Uruguay where the Montevideo Mechanism was adopted giving the contgending parties “the only objective mechanism” to address the complex political situation in Venezuela.”

The Mechanism, was poisitied as "evidence of an active, proactive and conciliatory diplomacy to bring the disputing parties closer together,  avoid conflict and violence,  is guided by the principles of non-intervention, legal equality of the States, peaceful solution of the controversies, respect for human rights and self-determination."

The Caribbean leaders invited to Mar-a-Lago had in January supported a resolution at the Organization of American States (OAS) in not recognising Maduro's second five-year term. On Monday of this week, Jamaica announced the closure of its embassy in Venezuela effective the first of April.

Last modified onFriday, 22 March 2019 09:09
  • Countries: Caribbean

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