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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