Guyana in full support of CARICOM position on Venezuela
– welcomes region’s continued support on border controversy
Even as Guyana welcomes the region’s continued support in regard to the Venezuelan border controversy, the country is in full support of the Caribbean Community’s (Caricom’s) position on the political instability in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
President David Granger, during the just concluded 38th Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government of Caricom in Grenada, said the events in Venezuela are a reason for concern in terms of overall regional security, and added that Guyana would like to see Venezuela returned to full democratic rule.
Referring to Caricom’s position as outlined in a statement by the Heads at the close of the Meeting on July 7, wherein “Caricom Heads of Government… reaffirmed their guiding principles of adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy, as well as for the fundamental principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of states”, President Granger, in an invited comment, said he supports a return to order in Venezuela without external interference.
“We do not want the Caribbean to become a zone of instability… We do not want to see the perpetuation of disorder, and we hope that the Venezuelan people would return to full democratic rule and full public order as quickly as possible without the interference of third states. That is our ambition. We don’t want to intervene. Venezuela, I think, is one of the most mature democracies in the Region. It has a tradition of elections. Right now they are undergoing some instability and we want to make sure that, at the end of the day, the Venezuelan people are satisfied with the outcome; it’s peaceful and they return to full democratic rule,” he said.
Guyana, as a neighbouring state to Venezuela, has particular interest in the current situation, and President Granger has kept Guyana’s interests on the front burner of the regional body.
Meanwhile, in the Communique issued at the close of the Heads of Government Meeting, Caricom “reiterated the firm and unequivocal support of the Caribbean Community for the maintenance and preservation of Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”. President Granger noted, at the closing press conference, that Guyana has always been able to rely on the regional body on this issue. The Caricom Heads also joined Guyana, according to the Communiqué, in recognising the strong commitment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) to the process of coming to a final resolution to the border controversy.
President Granger noted that Caricom leaders have worked hard to, as far as possible, speak with one voice on foreign policy matters. “Foreign policy coordination is one of the pillars of the Community, and as I pointed out before, it’s like a house: if you knock down the pillars the house would fall. So I attach every importance to foreign policy coordination. It’s very difficult, because we’re not only a Community, but we’re independent nation states which have to pursue what they call the national interest, and sometimes it collides with the Community’s interests. So it’s a work in progress,” President Granger said.
President Granger believes that the work CARICOM has done to come to collective positions on these matters has served to test and strengthen foreign policy coordination. He reiterated the importance of such coordination during his address at the opening ceremony of the Meeting.