A statement issued by the US Embassy here said that the Venezuelan situation where opposition supporters have been taking to the streets over the past few weeks demanding the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, had been discussed between Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley and visiting Acting Assistant Secretary State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Francisco Palmieri.
According to the statement, the two officials “discussed the situation in Venezuela, and our interest in finding a unified regional approach to help Venezuela find a peaceful, democratic, and comprehensive solution to its current problems.
“The entire region should be concerned by the erosion of Venezuelan democracy, by the detention of hundreds of political prisoners, and by the government’s policies, which have created a critical lack of basic medicines and access to food,” the statement said.
Last week, Trinidad and Tobago called for the removal of the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, over his non-neutral position on the political situation in Venezuela.
At the same time Port of Spain also warned the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping of the possibility of destroying “itself as an honest broker with respect to any involvement in assistance to Venezuela and its internal problems”.
The US embassy statement said that Prime Minister Douglas and Palmieri also “discussed how to deepen our security cooperation, both bilaterally and regionally through CARICOM.
“They discussed how Trinidad and Tobago’s leadership is crucial for CARICOM’s success, particularly in establishing an effective regional framework for addressing the threat of terrorism and extremism across the region. Trinidad and Tobago’s voice should be heard in global forums, where many countries are grappling together to address the same issues of violent extremism faced here,” the statement added.
The statement said that Palmieri also had “productive discussions” with Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, Finance Minister Corm Imbert, and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Stuart Young, “on the full range of issues that bind our deeply-connected nations”.
He also hosted a dinner with a group of Muslim leaders who are committed to engaging their communities and pushing back against the threat of violent extremism.
“While recent events in London, Tehran, and elsewhere give us all good reason to be concerned about violent extremism, we are encouraged by the openness of Trinidad and Tobago’s Muslim community to discussing the challenges and opportunities confronting their community,” the statement noted.
- Countries: Trinidad_Tobago