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JAMAICA | PNP Welcomes Dialogue with Venezuela

Featured Opposition’s Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ms. Lisa Hanna, M.P. Opposition’s Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ms. Lisa Hanna, M.P.
KINGSTON, Jamaica. February 12, 2019: The Opposition People’s National Party has welcomed the about turn of the government in opening dialogue with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to arrive at an agreed settlement on the purchase of the 49% shares in the Petrojam Oil Refinery.

In a statement this afternoon, the Opposition’s Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ms. Lisa Hanna, M.P., said the back pedaling is indicative of the fact that the government is now convinced that it was heading in the wrong direction.

She said the PNP hoped that the opening of negotiations would lead to finding a way to consummate an agreement, despite the present restrictions on Venezuela and the practical difficulties they pose.

Ms. Hanna said although the government has now indicated that it is proceeding on two tracks, the tabling of the compulsory acquisition legislation in the House of Representatives today is perplexing, as it will fall off the Order Paper with the prorogation of Parliament at midnight tomorrow night, in preparation for the State Opening on Thursday. The Party trusts that it will not be necessary to pass the legislation.

The PNP Shadow Minister said the party remained convinced that the premature announcement of the expropriation was not coincidental but was tied to the recent vote at the Organisation of American States (OAS).

She said this action took place in time for the OAS meeting but before exhausting all negotiating alternatives, including arbitration which is provided for in the shareholders’ agreement.

Ms. Hanna said “The situation of Jamaica departing from its core foreign policy principles is becoming far too frequent under Minister Kamina Johnson Smith, who is taking a hawkish position on global and regional issues, which is excluding Jamaica from being an honest broker in CARICOM and internationally.”

She said the situation with Venezuelan is proof-positive of this misguided approach to foreign relations which threatens long standing bilateral and multi-lateral dialogue between Jamaica and its international partners.

The PNP Shadow Minister said the Opposition was warning the government against recognising the Guaido Administration in Venezuela and Mr. Guaido as Interim President. She said it would be unconstitutional and unprecedented in Jamaica’s foreign relations history for this to be done.

  • Countries: Jamaica

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