Author: Valencia Grant | Date: 02 February 2019
CARICOM Heads of Government on Friday, February 1st, 2019, continued to demonstrate their deep resolve in advancing a solution to the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela during a meeting held via videoconference, which lasted several hours. This was their second emergency meeting on Venezuela in the space of a week, the first one being held on Thursday, January 24th.
From Government Headquarters in Basseterre, the Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis – presided over today’s meeting, which saw his fellow Heads of Government unanimously commend him for his strong leadership on the matter.
Prime Minister Harris, who effectively led this week’s CARICOM delegation to the United Nations in New York, was congratulated for a job well done, along with the Prime Ministers who accompanied him on the mission – namely Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago and the Honourable Mia Mottley of Barbados.
During the meeting, expressions of commendation were directed their way for having “led an extremely well put together mission” that has been widely hailed for providing “sterling representation by the region to the extent that we [CARICOM] now have Mexico and Uruguay joining us in this exercise.”
On the heels of CARICOM’s high-profile shuttle diplomacy mission – which saw Prime Minister Harris and his delegation meet with the UN Secretary-General, His Excellency Mr. António Guterres, and other global stakeholders to advance dialogue and negotiations for the benefit of the Venezuelan people – Mexico and Uruguay have voiced their intention to also help advance dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition, to defuse the situation and ultimately restore normalcy in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Prime Minister Harris, in his capacity as Chairman of CARICOM, has been invited to a meeting scheduled to take place in Uruguay next week, along with the two Prime Ministers who also comprised the Caribbean Community’s delegation to the United Nations earlier this week. That meeting will see CARICOM, Mexico and Uruguay set the stage for going forward in terms of further global outreach on the Venezuela matter, to return stability and peace in the country.
The CARICOM meeting had wide representation from the Caribbean Community. Either their Heads of Government or Foreign Affairs Ministers represented the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque represented the CARICOM Secretariat along with members of his support staff.
Supporting the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis during today’s meeting were St. Kitts and Nevis’ Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Mr. Sydney Osborne; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Kaye Bass; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrew Skerritt; National Security Advisor, (Ret.) Major General Stewart Saunders; Senior Foreign Service Officer and Desk Officer for CARICOM Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Samuel Berridge, and Press Secretary, Ms. Valencia Grant.