Group of Caribbean intellectuals and activists calls for CARICOM fact-finding mission to Venezuela

Following an invitation from the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, to attend a consultation on Friday May 12th 2017 on the Venezuelan government’s decision to convene a National Constituent Assembly to create a new Constitution;

Mindful of the decision by Venezuela to withdraw from the Organisation of American States (OAS) in protest against a controversially constituted resolution, supported by five Caribbean governments, which threatened Venezuela’s security;

Aware of recent negative media portrayals of the President of Venezuela as ‘a dictator who is oppressing opposition groupings’ and of public statements by elected Caribbean officials that echo these portrayals;

Further aware of the designation by the former US President Barrack Obama of Venezuela as ‘a threat to US national security’ and the escalation of the verbal aggression towards Venezuela by the Donald Trump Presidency;

Cognizant of the efforts of President Maduro to avoid civil war and to establish a foundation for peace, democracy and stability;

Mindful of the efforts by Venezuela to assist Caribbean development through initiatives such as ALBA, Petrocaribe, CELAC and TeleSUR;

Conscious of the history of foreign invasion, subversion of sovereignty, assassination of Caribbean and Latin American leaders and the ignoble record of war, destruction, destabilisation and territorial incursion which has frustrated Caribbean development, peace and stability;

And mindful of a meeting of CARICOM Foreign Ministers to be held in Barbados on May 18th 2017;

We the undersigned Caribbean nationals and citizens (from Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago), among colleagues from 35 countries who attended the aforementioned National Constituent Assembly discussion in Caracas, hereby call on the sovereign, independent and democratically elected Caribbean governments to:
1.Respect the sovereignty of Venezuela, refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Venezuela and allow the internal political issues within Venezuela to be solved by the Venezuelan people;
2.Send a CARICOM Fact-Finding Mission to independently ascertain the internal situation of Venezuela;
3.Refrain from colluding with external powers to subvert the security of Venezuela and reject the designation of Venezuela as a ‘threat to the security of the United States’; and
4.Respect the constitutionally-mandated electoral timeframes of the Bolivarian Republic as a basis for regional peace and stability, since the practice of holding elections in response to orchestrated violence will unleash an example of instability and will undermine the legitimacy and integrity of elections in the entire region.

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