Castries Mayor urges support for Venezuela amid renewed protests in Caracas

Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, asserting that Venezuela has been a very good friend to Saint Lucia, has declared that it is Saint Lucia’s turn to stand behind that country as it goes through a very trying time.

Venezuela opposition supporters descended on the country’s capital – Caracas today, to press for a recall referendum this year against Socialist President, Nicolas Maduro.

The referendum would cut  President Nicolas Maduro’s term short and trigger new elections.

Fearing violence, especially given 43 deaths around anti-Maduro protests in 2014, many businesses closed and parts of Caracas were deserted in the early morning.

“We know that democracy calls for people to express themselves and we are hoping that whether people  are disgruntled  they will conduct themselves in such a manner that there is no loss of life or property,” Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis said yesterday ahead of Thursday’s protests.

Francis had just emerged from a meeting with Venezuela’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia,  Her Excellency Leiff Escalona and a delegation from the Venezuelan Embassy here.

The meeting discussed plans next year to commemorate the bicentennial of death of Jean Baptiste Bideau.

Jean Baptiste Bideau was born on the island of St. Lucia in 1780 and from 1811 participated in the War of Independence of Venezuela, under the orders of Simon Bolivar and General Santiago Marino.

He later became the Governor of East Venezuela.