New Venezuela Ambassador named

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Following the historic move by the Dominican Republic to name Her Excellency Raquel Jacobo as the first Ambassador-Designate to St. John’s, the Venezuelan government has appointed a new ambassador to fill the vacant spot left by Carlos Silva whose diplomatic tenure to Antigua and Barbuda ended in March.

The new diplomat is Carmen Valesquez de Visbal who also presented her credentials to E.P. Chet Greene, the Foreign Minister at his office on Tuesday.

Her new posting comes at a time when there is deep political turmoil in Venezuela where Opposition Leader Juan Guiado is seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro but according to Greene the ties between both countries proves to be at its strongest.

“Both countries have been friends for many years and I think the relationship continues to show strength, if I may say so. It is safe to conclude that the relationship is presently at its strongest because it is often said that you know your friends when you are in a moment of need and if we look at what Venezuela is going through today our standing with you in solidarity is a clear indication of the value of our friendship.

“This friendship is one that, over time, has been tested — perhaps going through its greatest test today,” said Greene.

He further thanked Venezuela for the role it has continued to play in assisting countries such as Antigua and Barbuda maintain energy security through the PetroCaribe initiative and the quick response as the first country to reach out to the sister isle of Barbuda after Hurricane Irma in 2017.

The foreign affairs minister joined with both the United Nations and the European Union in advocating that the people of Venezuela should be allowed the opportunity to determine their own future through meaningful dialogue between contending parties.

“We are also desirous today to use this opportunity to condemn all forms of aggression. We wish to be very clear in opposition that the sanctions imposed on Venezuela are sanctions hurting the Venezuelan people and so we ask those that impose sanctions to lift those sanctions and allow for dialogue, communication to resolve whatever problems there might be.

“In expressing our solidarity with Venezuela today, we also with the United Nations and the EU both of whom have expressed very publicly their desire for there to not be any use of force,” said Greene.

He also reaffirmed the country’s stance in not interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

Ambassador Valesquez de Visbal thanked the minister for his kind words and thanked Antigua and Barbuda for its unwavering support for Venezuela at this time.  

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