Gonsalves against military intervention in Venezuela

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Gonsalves against military intervention in Venezuela

Friday, March 29, 2019

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KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says St Vincent and the Grenadines will oppose any military intervention of Venezuela by the United States in order to effect a regime change in that South American country.

“Well, St Vincent and the Grenadines would be entirely opposed to an invasion for the simple reason Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations, makes it plain that you can't threaten or use force against another country,” Gonsalves told a radio audience here.

“There are only two cases, two exceptions in the Charter of the United Nations: one, you're doing so for self-defence, and clearly, there is no issue of aggression of Venezuela against the United States or, secondly, if it is a situation adjudged by the Security Council to be so serious that it requires a response through the Security Council for an intervention.”

Gonsalves, who has had a close relationship with President Nicolas Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, said that it is for this reason the United States President Donald Trump is not lobbying the Security Council in his efforts to secure regime change in Venezuela.

“They have tried it before [but] it (situation in Venezuela) doesn't measure up to a global security threat and they wouldn't get the support of the Security Council.”

The United States and its allies are pushing to remove President Maduro out of office in favour of the Opposition Leader Juan Guaido, who has since declared himself as the interim president of Venezuela.

Caribbean Community (Caricom) has adopted a united position on the matter and last month the regional leaders, at their inter-sessional summit in St Kitts-Nevis, reiterated their position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and said they were prepared to mediate in the process to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Caricom foreign ministers have since met with Guaido in furtherance of their position.

And commenting on a report that Russia will be sending troops to help Maduro, Gonsalves told radio listeners that “I hear all kinds of things but I hear a lot of fake news. There is no evidence that that has happened.”

He said that international law should be observed.

“In the same way that what saves us, you and me and others in this community, is not to have a strong and powerful man, more powerful than you and come and bully us and beat up on us and we have no recourse to law.

“We have the law here; we have the courts to defend us. There's a thing called international law. And this is the problem, there are some states, because of some fear — people can't live by fear. You have to be practical, you have to be pragmatic, but you assert your principles. How could it, in heaven's name, be in the interest of St Vincent and the Grenadines to have a military invasion in Venezuela?”

He said that Canada and Europe oppose a military intervention in Venezuela.

Asked by his radio host about the difference between the possible US invasion of Venezuela and its Washington's invasion of the St George's in 1983, Gonsalves said that in Grenada, “the Americans used a fig leaf, that is to say, that the countries in the OECS, Eugenia Charles (then prime minister of Dominica) was then chairman, invited them in and that the governor general (Paul Scoon), which was the authority in Grenada did that. So they were in there by invitation.”

Gonsalves said he was against that military invention, as was Margaret Thatcher, then prime minister of the United Kingdom, who was a good friend of then US president, Ronald Reagan.

– Regional countries divided again on OAS resolution on Venezuela – P24


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