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SVG treated to Venezuelan culture onboard ‘Simón Bolívar’ vessel

SVG treated  to Venezuelan culture onboard ‘Simón Bolívar’ vessel

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Vincentians were given a taste of Venezuelan culture on board the Simón Bolívar School Training Vessel at a cocktail hosted by the captain and crew, in conjunction with the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The cocktail was held on Thursday, June 15.

Captain of the Simón Bolívar School Training Vessel, Captain Alfonso De Gregorio Melendez said it is first time the vessel is visiting St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Captain De Gregorio Melendez added that it is a great honour to bring the cadets in training to SVG, which he hoped would enhance the bonds between the two nations.

“It is an honour to welcome the best cadets of Venezuela to SVG,” Venezuelan Ambassador Yuri Pimentel stated. Ambassador Pimentel emphasized that the Simón Bolívar School Training Vessel is a symbol of integration and peace among our peoples. He acknowledged the presence of Petro Caribe workers, which, he said, is symbolic of the integration between Latin America and the Caribbean.

Minizter of National Mobilization Frederick Stephenson stated that he was very happy to have the crew and cadets of the Simón Bolívar School Training Vessel in St Vincent and the Grenadines. Minister Stephenson was so impressed with the deportment of the cadets of the Simón Bolívar School Training Vessel that he has requested of Captain De Gregorio Melendez and Ambassador Pimentel that [he] “would love to see at least five of our coastguard personnel being trained on this ship for at least a six-month period.” According to the Minister of National Mobilization, his request has been favourably received.

Prime Minister Gonsalves said he was happy to be on board the Simón Bolívar School Training Vessel and to share the moment with Ambassador Pimentel and his wife, Mrs Pimentel. Dr Gonsalves paid tribute to the memory of Comrade Hugo Chavez. “We loved him very much in St Vincent and the Grenadines and he was my dear friend”.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves used the opportunity to send a message to the Venezuelan people that St Vincent and the Grenadines stands in solidarity “with the government and people of Venezuela against the attempts by imperialists who want to interfere in the internal affairs of Venezuela.

“We stand firm in defense of its sovereignty and independence and we encourage peace and constructive dialogue,” he said.

Also, Dr Gonsalves referred to the incident in which “complicit in dictatorship” was spray-painted on the wall of the residence of the Ambassador of SVG in Venezuela. Gonsalves called the perpetrator(s) enemies of the friendship between SVG and Venezuela.

“Of course, we are friends with the duly elected Government of Venezuela and those who believe they could intimidate our Ambassador, they would not succeed,” Dr. Gonsalves stressed.

The Simón Bolívar School Training Vessel is making its 29th exterior cruise to Latin America and the Caribbean. The vessel is home to 186 men and women from the armies of Venezuela, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Panama, Suriname, and Nicaragua.

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