Dominica opposition party wants government to stay out of US-Venezuela spat

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UWP leader Lennox Linton (File photo)

ROSEAU, Dominica, Friday March 20, 2015, CMC – The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) is calling on the Dominica government not to get involved in the ongoing disagreement between the United States and Venezuela warning that any action by Roseau could harm thousands of nationals residing in the North American country.

The UWP leader Lennox Linton said that “by unreasonably challenging America’s right to determine if, when and by whom its national security is being threatened” Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit is threatening the security of “our own US-based Dominican and other Caribbean brothers and sisters who are dependent on the US government for their protection and the enhancement of their quality of life”.

Skerrit was among several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders who attended a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) in Caracas earlier this week.

At that meeting, Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, said that his government is troubled by the escalation of antagonism between two countries and proposed the establishment of a small group to act “as honest brokers” in the ongoing conflict.

Browne said that while his administration “accepts that it is up to any government in the world whether it applies sanctions on another, the process for doing so should be transparent with convincing evidence provided.

“My government regrets the language of the Executive Order that declared “a national emergency” because it was felt that “the situation in Venezuela” poses an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States”.

In his statement, Linton said that he was calling on Prime Minister Skerrit “to stop compromising the public interest of Dominica by thoughtlessly poking his nose and selfishly taking a side in yet another diplomatic flare up between the United States and Venezuela”.

Linton noted that Skerrit had labeled the US action as “unfair and inexplicable” but that he “made no mention of the US concerns of undemocratic governance, criminalization of legitimate protest action, violation of human rights, public corruption and provocative anti-US diplomatic posturing by Caracas”.

Limnton said that Skerrit was attempting to insert his “personal agenda into a dispute between two sovereign countries by advocating for America to be deprived of the very same privilege of self interest independent action that he claims for Venezuela.

“If he is in fact pursuing a balanced foreign policy agenda that makes us friends of all and satellites of none, then Mr. Skerrit has a moral obligation in the enlightened self interest of Dominica to stay out of this dispute and allow America and Venezuela to sort out their differences through dialogue and diplomacy,” Linton added.

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