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JAMAICA | Hanna concerned about closure of Ja embassy in Venezuela

Featured The PNP's Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ms. Lisa Hanna The PNP's Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ms. Lisa Hanna
KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 22, 2019 - Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Lisa Hanna says the opposition PNP has taken serious note of Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith’s statement about the temporary closure of the Jamaican embassy in Caracas Venezuela.

Ms. Hanna said that this latest move by the GOJ which appears to halt diplomatic relations with our long standing ally is shocking. “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.”

Closing the embassy, Me Hanna said, is leaving Jamaicans in Venezuela without access to assistance which the embassy would normally provide. “This sudden move,” Ms. Hanna said, “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 recognize 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 our 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. Our rights and privileges as a sovereign democratic nation are not for sale, or to be determined in foreign capitals, but right here in our land; right here in Jamaica.” Ms. Hanna said

Ms. Hanna said for the Government to truly play a role in helping the people of Venezuela especially during this time, it must keep our Jamaican Embassy open and therefore should be wise and reconsider their decision so as not to create long-lasting negative effects on Jamaica’s previously stellar international image.

In a media statement on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, said Effective April 1, the Jamaican embassy in Caracas, Venezuela will be closed temporarily.
 
Senator Johnson Smith said the closure follows significant challenges the Ministry and the embassy have been experiencing in operations at the post for some time.
 
During the period of closure of the embassy in Caracas, the management of Jamaica's relations with Venezuela will be undertaken from the Ministry's headquarters in Kingston.
 
She reiterated that over the last two years, the Ministry has been reviewing its resident diplomatic presence overseas due to the ever changing global environment and the emergence of new patterns of  trade and investment as well as technical and economic cooperation.
 
Senator Johnson Smith said later this year, there will be further announcements regarding Jamaica's diplomatic representation overseas.
Last modified onWednesday, 20 March 2019 21:02
  • Countries: Jamaica

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