Discussions on Venezuela Productive, Says CARICOM Chairman

CARICOM Chairman Dr Timothy Harris with EU High Representative, H.E Federica Mogherini, after Tuesday’s breakfast meeting in Costa Rica (Photo credit: SKNIS)

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Friday May 10, 2019 – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr Timothy Harris has described his discussions in Costa Rica this week with the International Contact Group (ICG) on Venezuela as “quite productive.”

The ICG is comprised of about a dozen countries from Europe and Latin America, and international governmental organizations.

“The crux of my presentation was to set out the principles undergirding CARICOM’s enlightened and principled response to the crisis in Venezuela,” Prime Minister Harris.

At Tuesday’s ICG breakfast meeting, which took place at the headquarters of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in San José, Costa Rica’s capital, he reaffirmed CARICOM’s guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for the constitutional order and democracy.

He also told the ICG that the Venezuelan people must be key stakeholders in Venezuela’s future, noting, “The time to put the people of Venezuela first is now.”

“It bears reiterating that there is a need for a de-escalation of the tensions in Venezuela – a coordinated and extraordinary humanitarian response through the mechanism of the United Nations, dialogue between the contending parties in Venezuela, commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Venezuelan crisis, and outcomes determined by and for the people of Venezuela,” Prime Minister Harris said in Parliament while updating the nation on his official trip to Costa Rica.

The ICG issued a statement Tuesday after its ministerial meeting in Costa Rica. It said it would continue to engage with its regional and international partners towards a political, peaceful and democratic solution in Venezuela.

The group also decided to convene again at ministerial level, in the near future, to assess developments and decide next steps.

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