BASSETEERE, St. Kitts –- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government continued on Feb. 1 to demonstrate their deep resolve in advancing a solution to the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela during a meeting held via video conference, which lasted several hours. This was their second emergency meeting on Venezuela in the space of a week, the first one Jan. 24.
CARICOM Chairman Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, presided over the meeting, which saw his fellow Heads of Government unanimously commend him for his strong leadership.
Prime Minister Harris, who effectively led this week’s CARICOM delegation to the United Nations in New York, was congratulated for a job well done, along with the Prime Ministers who accompanied him on the mission, Dr. the Honourable Keith Rowley of Trinidad and Tobago and the Honourable Mia Mottley of Barbados.
Expressions of commendation were directed their way for having “led an extremely well put together mission” that has been widely hailed for providing “sterling representation by the region to the extent that we [CARICOM] now have Mexico and Uruguay joining us in this exercise.”
During the CARICOM’s shuttle diplomacy mission Prime Minister Harris and his delegation met with the UN Secretary-General, His Excellency António Guterres. Other global stakeholders joined in to advance dialogue and negotiations for the benefit of the Venezuelan people. Mexico and Uruguay voiced their intention to also help advance dialogue between Venezuela’s government and opposition, to defuse the situation and ultimately restore normalcy in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Prime Minister Harris, as Chairman of CARICOM, has been invited to a meeting next week in Uruguay. Also invited are the two Prime Ministers who also comprised the Caribbean Community’s delegation to the United Nations. That meeting will see CARICOM, Mexico and Uruguay set the stage for going forward in terms of further global outreach on the Venezuela matter, to return stability and peace in the country.
The Feb 1 meeting had wide representation from the Caribbean Community. Either their Heads of Government or Foreign Affairs Ministers represented the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque represented the CARICOM Secretariat along with members of his support staff.
Supporting the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis during today’s meeting were St. Kitts and Nevis’ Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Sydney Osborne; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Kaye Bass; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Andrew Skerritt; National Security Advisor, (Ret.) Major General Stewart Saunders; Senior Foreign Service Officer and Desk Officer for CARICOM Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Samuel Berridge, and Press Secretary, Ms. Valencia Grant.