JAMAICA-POLITICS-Jamaica wants all parties in Venezuela to engage in dialogue

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KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jun 2, CMC – Jamaica has called for dialogue among all parties in Venezuela where opposition led street demonstrations to force the Nicolas Maduro government out of office have resulted in more than 40 deaths and a split among members of the Organisation of American States (OAS).
A government statement said that the Andrew Holness government is urging all parties in the South American country to commit to renewed dialogue and negotiation towards a comprehensive, political agreement with concrete actions and guarantees to ensure its implementation for the well-being of the country and its people.
It said that Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith addressing the 29th Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs at the OAS in Washington earlier this week, said the government is “gravely concerned by the continued deterioration of the situation in Venezuela”.
She cited increased violence, loss of life, damage to infrastructure, severe economic hardships for the people, and “a hardening of deeply entrenched positions by both Government and opposition groups”.
Johnson Smith pointed to Jamaica’s long-standing and strong friendship with Venezuela dating back to the refuge provided to the great Liberator, Simón Bolívar, in 1815. It was from the Caribbean country that he wrote the famous Jamaica Letter.
“We are bound together not only by our shared historical, cultural and political experiences, but also by challenges we face as peoples of the Americas,” she said, indicating that, for Jamaica, suspension of Venezuela from the OAS is not desirable, and it is regrettable, therefore, that Venezuela has decided to withdraw from membership of the OAS.
“Jamaica continues to highly favour meaningful dialogue and discourages the isolation of Venezuela. We, therefore, invite the Government of Venezuela to reconsider that decision,” Johnson Smith added.
She said that Jamaica will continue to express its friendship and solidarity with the Venezuelan people and maintain the conviction that it is imperative that the Venezuelan people be allowed to find a peaceful and lasting national solution to the untenable situation in their country.
“We, therefore, reiterate our desire to see all parties in Venezuela commit to engage in a renewed dialogue process and negotiation which will lead to a comprehensive, political agreement with established timetables, concrete actions and guarantees to ensure its implementation for the well-being of Venezuela and its people.”
She reiterated Jamaica’s willingness to participate in a Group of Friends mechanism, to offer any assistance that would facilitate renewed dialogue and negotiation between the government and the opposition, in order to alleviate the serious challenges facing the Venezuelan people.
On Wednesday, Trinidad and Tobago called for the removal of the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, over his non-neutral position on the political situation in Venezuela and warned the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping of the possibility of destroying “itself as an honest broker with respect to any involvement in assistance to Venezuela and its internal problems”.
“Trinidad and Tobago registered a strong objection to the behaviour of the OAS leadership. The public servants from the OAS took it upon themselves to engage the Government of Venezuela, the president in fact, in a very derogatory manner,” Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley told a news conference on his return from an official two-day visit to Chile.

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