MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Monday February 4, 2019 – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chairman Dr Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, will lead a regional delegation to Uruguay, where an international conference focusing on the ongoing political upheaval in Venezuela is set to convene on Thursday.
A joint statement from Mexico and Uruguay – which have agreed, along with CARICOM, to pursue peace talks to deal with the crisis – stated that the purpose of this week’s conference will be to establish the basis for a new dialogue mechanism that includes all the forces in Venezuela, in order to help restore peace in that country.”
The CARICOM delegation’s trip to Uruguay follows on the heels of its shuttle diplomacy at the United Nations, to advance dialogue and negotiations for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.
Last Monday, Prime Minister Harris, as well as the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley, and the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, before holding a number of discussions with other global stakeholders, including representatives of the African Union and the European Union. At that meeting, Guterres accepted the leaders’ invitation for his good offices to be made available to the people of Venezuela.
Then last Friday, CARICOM Heads of Government continued to demonstrate their resolve in advancing a solution to the political crisis in Venezuela during a meeting held via videoconference, which lasted several hours. It was their second special meeting on Venezuela, the first was held on January 24, a day after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim leader and was immediately recognized by the United States among other countries.
During that meeting, Heads of Government, Foreign Affairs Ministers and other attendees, including representatives of the CARICOM Secretariat, held the consensus that the mission to the UN was extremely well put together and provided “sterling representation by the region to the extent that we [CARICOM] now have Mexico and Uruguay joining us in this exercise.”
“We have a hopeful view for the people of Venezuela. The same peace that we are enjoying, they would be able to enjoy that peace; the same ability to be able to participate in the international marketplace, we want them to have that; the same challenges that we ask our people to brace themselves for, to take advantage, circumvent challenges and seize opportunities to ensure the continuing growth and development, those same aspirations we want for the people of Venezuela but importantly they have to want them for themselves,” said Prime Minister Harris.