ROSEAU, Dominica, Thursday May 19, 2016 – Dominica’s Opposition Leader Lennox Linton has called on government to dip into the revenue generated from the country’s Economic Citizenship Programme to help the crisis-stricken Venezuela.
He noted that the Roosevelt Skerrit administration has often described the Nicolas Maduro-led country as a “good friend”, and said it’s time for Dominica to extend a helping hand to its ally.
Speaking on local radio on Tuesday, Linton suggested that the assistance could come in the form of at least EC$1 million (US$370,370) which should be immediately dispatched to Venezuela.
Venezuela, one of Dominica’s main donors, is on the brink of chaos with the country facing shortages of food, medicines and basic goods. As the crisis deepens, Venezuelans now have to cope with energy and water rationing almost daily, on top of having to queue for hours every week to buy the most basic products. A 60-day state of emergency was announced by President Maduro last weekend.
— Joshua Goodman (@APjoshgoodman) May 19, 2016
Linton says Dominica, which has long benefitted from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe initiative, as well as recent assistance after Tropical Storm Erika devastated the country late last year, should step up to the plate.
“Clearly Venezuela has committed a lot to Dominica over the years and now that the economy is in shambles, now that its hospitals are failing and children are dying…it behooves us to step up to the plate and do something and to show that we care not just about ourselves but other people around the world, especially people who have stepped forward and made sacrifice on our behalf,” Linton said. “I am suggesting that the government must make a humanitarian contribution to the Government and people of Venezuela immediately.”
The Opposition Leader also urged Dominicans to make contributions to the South American nation through the Venezuelan Embassy.