Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
– Grenada’s Foreign Minister urges Guyana
– says CARICOM must remain a Zone of Peace
Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter David has cautioned Guyana, in its dealings with the United States (US) and Venezuela, not to stray from CARICOM’s position of non-interference which could threaten the region’s Zone of Peace.
On Tuesday at a Post-Cabinet Briefing, Minister David fielded questions from reporters which led him to the recent visit of US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo to Guyana to discuss amplifying the pressure on Venezuela and other bilateral matters.
Pompeo told the media at a press conference at Guyana’s State House on September 18, 2020: “For the people of Venezuela to have the democracy that they need, the Cuban security forces must go and Maduro must leave. So, the efforts to do that and to put diplomatic pressure and to support the Venezuelan people, we desperately want that same objective.”
However, Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said that its doesn’t appear that Pompeo’s remarks match the position of CARICOM, of which Guyana is a Member.
“CARICOM maintains its position with respect to Venezuela; non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela. We believe that maintaining the region as a Zone of Peace is of paramount importance to all of us. We believe the issues confronting Venezuela must be resolved by Venezuelans. We believe that the issue of regime change is not something that should be placed on the agenda of other countries and, certainly, all of CARICOM has agreed to that and we hope that all of CARICOM sticks to that,” he said.
He said that his position on the Guyana/Venezuela/US matter is shared by Grenada’s Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell and he expects that Guyana will tread wisely in its arrangements with the US as a regional Member.
“We hope that Guyana sticks to that [CARICOM position]. Secretary Pompeo has a right to visit any country. If he chooses to come to Grenada tomorrow we will certainly welcome Secretary of State Pompeo. But, Grenada’s policy is Grenada’s policy, we will listen — and I hope that’s what Guyana will do — listen…but we hope that they stick to the CARICOM position which is non-interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs. Let the Venezuelan people resolve the issues internal to them and that is what I urge Guyana, as Foreign Minister…I reflect the views of our Prime Minister, I reflect the views of Regional Governments, and I reflect the view of what I believe is the position of the vast majority of Caribbean people,” he said.
Since Guyana announced its oil find in 2015, the neighbouring Spanish-speaking country has resurfaced its claim to Guyana’s Essequibo region and Guyana has since resorted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to settle its ownership based on the 1889 Arbitral Award.
The US, however, has its own contention with Venezuela as it recognises Opposition Leader, Juan Guaido as “interim president” and considers the Venezuelan National Assembly, which he currently leads, to be the only legitimate federal institution.
Its position is that the Maduro regime’s irresponsible intervention in the economy has facilitated widespread corruption and stoked hyperinflation leading to negative economic growth and a humanitarian crisis.
Pompeo’s visit to the Guyana included the offering of US “resources” to combat the Venezuelan threat. Amid differing public and political views, President has Ali accepted the offer.
Even so, Grenada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs urged Guyana: “There should be no intervention and, therefore, we urge them [Guyana] to maintain the position of CARICOM. While they are free to have all kinds of diplomatic engagements and visits, please, do not renege on the principle that this region should be maintained as a Zone of Peace.”