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Jamaica urges all parties in Venezuela to engage in dialogue

Friday, June 02, 2017

WASHINGTON DC, United States (JIS) – The government is urging all parties in Venezuela to commit to renewed dialogue and negotiation towards a comprehensive, political agreement with concrete actions and guarantees to ensure its implementation for the well-being of the country and its people.In a statement at the 29th Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs at the Organization of American States (OAS), in Washington DC on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, said the government is “gravely concerned by the continued deterioration of the situation in Venezuela”.

She cited increased violence, loss of life, damage to infrastructure, severe economic hardships for the people, and “a hardening of deeply entrenched positions by both Government and opposition groups”.

The minister pointed to Jamaica's long-standing and strong friendship with Venezuela dating back to the refuge provided to the great Liberator, Simón Bolívar, in 1815. It was from the Caribbean country that he wrote the famous Jamaica Letter.

“We are bound together not only by our shared historical, cultural and political experiences, but also by challenges we face as peoples of the Americas,” she said.

The minister said that, for Jamaica, suspension of Venezuela from the OAS is not desirable, and it is regrettable, therefore, that Venezuela has decided to withdraw from membership of the OAS.

“Jamaica continues to highly favour meaningful dialogue and discourages the isolation of Venezuela. We, therefore, invite the Government of Venezuela to reconsider that decision,” Senator Johnson Smith added.

She said that Jamaica will continue to express its friendship and solidarity with the Venezuelan people and maintain the conviction that it is imperative that the Venezuelan people be allowed to find a peaceful and lasting national solution to the untenable situation in their country.

“We, therefore, reiterate our desire to see all parties in Venezuela commit to engage in a renewed dialogue process and negotiation which will lead to a comprehensive, political agreement with established timetables, concrete actions and guarantees to ensure its implementation for the well-being of Venezuela and its people,” the minister said.

She reiterated Jamaica's willingness to participate in a Group of Friends mechanism, to offer any assistance that would facilitate renewed dialogue and negotiation between the government and the opposition, in order to alleviate the serious challenges facing the Venezuelan people.

The minister was accompanied by Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the OAS, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, and Jamaica's Alternate Representative to the OAS, Julia Hyatt.


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