BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Strong disquiet over the escalation of the situation in Venezuela and the adverse implications for the people of Venezuela and for the immediate region are expressed in a statement by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) led by its chairman, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris.

The CARICOM delegation comprising Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago; the Honourable Peter David, Foreign Minister of Grenada; His Excellency Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General; and the Permanent Representatives of these countries continued discussions at the United Nations and at the Trinidad and Tobago Permanent Mission in New York. Representatives expressed concern about the situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its implications for the Community.

The delegation met with the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Her Excellency Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, and with the Permanent Representative to the United Nations of Nicaragua, Australia, Uruguay, Brazil and South Africa.

“The Prime Ministers, along with the entire delegation, reaffirmed the guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention,” a CARICOM statement said. “They called on states to refrain from the threat or the use of force, and for respect for sovereignty and adherence to the rule of law.

“The Prime Ministers underlined that it is never too late for dialogue and posited that there was clearly an urgent need for the contending parties in Venezuela to come together to find a peaceful solution. The Community restated its willingness to provide its good offices and to work with like-minded countries to this end. In this regard it welcomed the initiative of Mexico and Uruguay seeking to facilitate a dialogue among the parties,” the CARICOM statement said.

“The delegation considered its mission a success. The United Nations Secretary-General had expressed his willingness to provide good offices, circumstances permitting. It had also sensitised its interlocutors on the concerns and views of the Community to which there were positive responses,” the statement added.