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Johnson Smith says Jamaica voted for Venezuela's National Assembly's choice for OAS rep

Friday, April 12, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, says that Jamaica supported Juan Guaidˇ's choice for Venezuela's representative to the Organisation of American States (OAS) on April 9, in his capacity as President of the National Assembly and not as Interim President.

Senator Johnson Smith told the Senate today that in a context where the Maduro administration had announced its intention to withdraw Venezuela's membership from the OAS, a development that would take effect in short order, the National Assembly, which would normally participate in such decision-making under the Venezuelan Constitution, had expressed concern about the legitimacy of the authority of the declaration.

“The text, based on an amendment proposed by Jamaica, also made it clear that the acceptance of a representative would be temporary – lasting until new, free and fair elections are held in Venezuela, with the expectation that the duly, democratically elected Government would then appoint its Permanent Representative with the full endorsement of the National Assembly as provided for in the Constitution,” she added.

The Permanent Council of the OAS on Tuesday approved a resolution on the situation in Venezuela in which it resolved to accept the appointment of Gustavo Tarre, as the National Assembly's designated permanent representative, pending new elections and the appointment of a democratically elected government.

The resolution also instructed the Secretary General of the OAS to transmit the text of the resolution to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

The resolution was approved with 18 votes in favour -- Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Saint Lucia; nine against -- Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Dominica, Grenada, Mexico, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela; six abstentions -- Barbados, El Salvador, Guyana, Nicaragua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. Belize was absent.

Balford Henry

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