August 9, 2020

Former Jamaican PM Urges for Caribbean Integration on Venezuela

(TELESUR) – Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Percival James Patterson called on Monday for Caribbean nations to support a united stance on the situation in Venezuela, reminding regional leaders that they had reached a common position repudiating external intervention in the country’s internal affairs.

“We expect all our leaders to act in accordance with that decision and not to veer off in support [of those] who have a contrary view, whether in the halls of the OAS (Organisation of American States) or the corridors at Mar-a-Lago,” Patterson said during the launch of his book, “My Political Journey” at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Jamaica’s sixth prime minister (1992 – 2006) was referring to a questionable meeting held on March 22 between U.S. President Donald Trump and the presidents of Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, held without true representation of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) as their representatives were not invited.

PJ Patterson, as he is widely known, also emphasized that a divided stance on Venezuela will be “suicidal” for the bloc, reiterating that the Caribbean is a powerful entity but only as a united voice. “The Caribbean, we at the OAS are 14 nations strong; we have the voting power,” he added.

If not, the former PM warns that the region will be “reverting to a time we thought we had passed long ago to the days of subservience and being subject to the dictates of others based on their interest.”

On May 1, Caricom called to recommit to a peaceful solution in Venezuela.  Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis and Chairman of the group, Timothy Harris said the bloc “has been working earnestly to promote meaningful dialogue and diplomacy, as well as a four-phased process called the Montevideo Mechanism, whose aim is an inclusive and lasting solution.”

While the Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, all members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) rejected U.S. imperialism and intervention on Venezuela during the group’s 18th Political Council.

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