40th CARICOM Meet: SKN PM Harris Says Group Opposes Interference in Venezuela

Dr. Timothy Harris, the incoming chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
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The head of Caribbean Community (Caricom) on Wednesday said the bloc will continue its “honest broker role” and continue to stand united in its stance on the political situation in neighboring Venezuela.

Chairman Timothy Harris, the prime minister of St Kitts & Nevis, said during the opening ceremony of the Caricom summit in Saint Lucia that the opposition parties backed by the U.S. and some western countries are seeking to remove Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from office, according to Jamaica Observer.

The Caribbean Community is a group of Caribbean nations and dependencies who work together to coordinate economic policies and handling trade disputes within the region.

Emphasizing the bloc’s “principled stance” since the beginning of the crisis, Harris, who is leading a three-member Caricom team tasked with shaping the region’s position on Venezuela, said Caricom urges “non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela, inviolability of the Sovereign State, respect for democracy, rule of law and the constitution of Venezuela, peace and resolution of conflict”.

“Venezuela is our neighbour, and our member states are being affected by the crisis. For us, this is not a geopolitical game of chess. It is a situation creating hardships for millions of people right on our doorstep, fostering instability in our already fragile economies and exacerbating criminal activity,” said Harris.

The Caricom chairman said those are the “cardinal principles to undergird a resolution of the political crisis in Venezuela”.

Harris also praised the efforts of Uruguay and Norway to achieve a peaceful resolution in Venezuela.

Caricom was first established in 1973 through the Treaty of Chaguaramas. The treaty was later revised in 2001 and included the implementation of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

There are a total of 15 member nations and dependencies that cover a total area of over 177,000 square miles, and a total population of more than 18 million.

The three-day 40th Regular Meeting of the Caricom began on Tuesday, to discuss measures to enhance the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).

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