A statement from CARICOM emanating from its recently concluded two day Inter Sessional summit in Frigate Bay, noted that "the people of Venezuela must be allowed to decide their own future in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter - non-intervention, non-interference, prohibition of the threat or use of force, respect for the rule of law, human rights and democracy."
"As CARICOM has ceaselessly advocated, for this objective to be attained, there has to be a meaningful and internal dialogue between the contending parties. This dialogue must determine how best the crisis can be resolved within the confines of the constitution and the rule of law, whether by referendum, elections or any other agreed mechanism, " the regional body says.
"Nothing short of this will lead to the quelling of this crisis or provide the relief that all Venezuelans desire,"CARICOM says.
The Heads of government concluded that "pending this, there must be a commitment to the delivery of humanitarian aid in a manner that is not politicised but which uses United Nations mechanisms that have been used over the years for the impartial and effective delivery of humanitarian relief."
Venezuela has been in a state of political and economic turmoil since late January when Juan Guaido, leader of the opposition-led Venezuelan National Assembly, proclaimed himself the interim president, contesting the results of the presidential election. A number of Venezuela's neighbors and the United States recognized Guaido instead of Maduro, but China, Russia, Mexico, Iran, Turkey and several others countries stressed that they continue to recognize constitutionally elected Maduro as the legitimate leader.
The United States has ramped up its attempt to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, imposing new sanctions and revoking visas, while opposition leader Juan Guaido said Maduro's support among the military was cracking.
Venezuelan military officials last weekend blocked an opposition-backed effort to bring food into the country via its borders with Colombia and Brazil, leaving two aid trucks in flames and five people dead.
Guaido, who is recognised by most Western nations as Venezuela's rightful leader, visited Paraguay and Argentina on Friday to shore up Latin American support for a transition government for the crisis-stricken nation.
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