WASHINGTON, United States, Wednesday March 20, 2019 – As the United States’ continues to press for Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro to step down from office, President Donald Trump will meet with leaders of four Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and a fifth regional leader, whose countries earlier this year agreed not to recognize Maduro’s latest term in office.
In a statement issued yesterday, the White House said Trump would meet with the leaders of The Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
It said the meeting with the Caribbean leaders “will reaffirm our strong friendship with and commitment to these countries, and signal the importance of the Caribbean to the hemisphere”.
“The President will discuss his vision for our diverse relationships in the Caribbean and the potential opportunities for energy investment. The President looks forward to working with countries in the region to strengthen our security cooperation and counter China’s predatory economic practices,” it added.
The statement also noted that Trump would use the meeting as an opportunity to thank these countries for their support for peace and democracy in Venezuela.
The Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic voted with 15 other Organization of American States (OAS) members in supporting a resolution calling on member states “to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term” which began on January 10 this year.
Guyana was the only CARICOM nation voting in favour of the resolution that is not attending the meeting with Trump.
In the vote taken on the same day Maduro was sworn in for a second consecutive term, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname voted no. St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Belize abstained, and Grenada was absent.
But CARICOM leaders have reiterated a policy of non-interference in Venezuela’s affairs, offering to mediate to help the South American nation resolve its own crisis.