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former Prime Minister supports foreign intervention in Venezuela

former Prime Minister supports foreign intervention in Venezuela
Former Prime Minister and Former President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Sir James Mitchell

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A former Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) says he is in support of foreign intervention in Venezuela.

“…All this business about CARICOM and non-intervention. What happened with South Africa? Did not the world intervene against the apartheid regime in South Africa to bring about liberation?

“What about right next door here, Grenada, the drafters of this resolution, the signatories to this resolution, do they regret the US rescuing Grenada? Sir James Mitchell commented on BOOM FM last week during that station’s OMG in the Morning radio program.

Sir James was at the time responding to a question from host Dwight ‘Bing’ Joseph in relation to the ongoing political unrest in Venezuela.

Last month, Juan Guaidó, a Venezuelan engineer and politician serving as the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, declared himself interim president of Venezuela in a coordinated move supported by the United States. He has called on President Nicolás Maduro to hold presidential elections and last Monday, European countries including the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark recognised Guaidó.

Mitchell said his support for the US is because he has to be consistent in the way he operates. He said in 1983, when conflict erupted in Grenada, he was one of the first persons to call on the US for help.

He noted also that in 2000, when political strife erupted in SVG, he agreed to have elections so that the people could choose the government they wanted.

Sir James said that over 20 countries have recognized Guaidó and are calling for fresh, free and fair elections.

“Give the people the elections and let them face the government they get.

The former Prime Minister said in his opinion, Venezuela is overrun by corruption and while he thinks that former president Hugo Chavez (deceased) was elected in free and fair elections during his first stint in 1999, everything went downhill after that.

“The first election of Chavez was genuine, but at the time he got in, he started to break up the institutions…Chavez shut down radio stations, jailed opponents, did not respect the private sector, close down the private sector,” Sir James stated, while adding that he is of the opinion that Chavez’s elections, after his first, and Maduro’s elections, were not above board.

He noted that millions of Venezuelans are suffering, and millions have fled, and the countries in the region who have been calling for non-intervention are wrong to be doing so.

On January 10, 2019, the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) agreed to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s new term. The resolution was approved with 19 votes in favour, six against, eight abstentions and one absent.

And on January 25, the Government of SVG reaffirmed its recognition of Maduro.

Sir James said that this country should not have separated itself from the request of the US to deal with what he considers as “certain antidemocratic policies” in Venezuela.

Last month, heads of Government of CARICOM reaffirmed their guiding principles of non-interference and non-intervention in the affairs of states, respect for sovereignty, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for human rights and democracy.

Said Sir James, “you don’t see anything coming across [in the release] about the concern of the plight of the Venezuelans and the three million Venezuelans that had to run because of no food, no medicines, no opportunity, the schooling is totally interrupted.

“Venezuela has been destroyed under the regime of Chavez and Maduro. For example, no medicines in Venezuela. I could tell you I wouldn’t last a month in Venezuela without my medicine…”

He said countries must not ignore the plight of Venezuelans as there are people being beaten and raped and some of the stories are terrible.

“I will be shocked if Maduro lasts six months more. The recognition of the interim president means that he can ask for help…,” said Sir James.

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