Ambassador Pandiani who was in St. Kitts and Nevis for the country’s fourth Diplomatic Week, which ran from April 7-12, 2019, under the theme “Securing a Resilient Future through Strategic Diplomacy and Effective Dialogue” said he was impressed with the leadership of Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Federal Cabinet and Premier of Nevis.
“I just want to recognize and express publicly to St. Kitts and Nevis for its fantastic leadership within CARICOM, especially in the matter of the Venezuelan crisis. St. Kitts and Nevis has been instrumental to put the LIMA Group and CARICOM together, and your prime minister and your minister of foreign affairs, Dr. Harris and Mr. Brantley, they had been very professional and efficient in keeping the dialogue open, so I think its important when a small country such as St. Kitts and Nevis can lead on such a critical issue,” said His Excellency Pandiani.
Ambassador Pandiani joins a number of notable persons, who have commended St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister for his strong position taken as Chairman of CARICOM on the Venezuela situation.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), His Excellency Dr. Everson Hull, said, “The position that St. Kitts and Nevis has taken is fully consistent with that which is taken by the Heads of the CARICOM group as well as both the United Nations Charter as well as the OAS Charter. The policy explicitly states that there must be no intervention in the affairs of a member state without the explicit request of that member.”
He went on to say that, “If St. Kitts and Nevis is to intervene in the affairs of Venezuela that request must come from Venezuela. That has not happened and therefore we start off with that—the OAS being in violation of the principles of its own Charter, as well as the UN has the same principles, so therefore on that basis, we have abstained from voting rather than taking sides.”
Additionally, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), His Excellency Sam Condor said, “I was very pleased by the leadership taken by our prime minister when the crisis broke. As Chairman of CARICOM, he led a Heads meeting and spoke to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the General Assembly. I think it was a very successful meeting. I think CARICOM set the stage and the tone,” His Excellency Condor said. “In fact, were it not for that early intervention, I think things would have been a lot worse and I want to commend CARICOM—the leadership led by our prime minister, for the role they took early and really set the stage, and so what people are doing right now is following that lead.”
Meanwhile, Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency David Comissiong, in an article titled “CARICOM’s Finest Hour” dated February 13, 2019, said:
“The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) deserves full marks for the position it has adopted and the actions it has undertaken in response to the regional and international crisis that was precipitated on Wednesday, 23 January 2019, when the Venezuelan parliamentarian who is currently holding the rotating Presidency of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, declared himself President of Venezuela and had his claim to the Presidency recognized by the government of the United States of America and several other powerful Western governments.
“Unlike other governments that facilitated actions that would create a potentially deadly state of affairs in which an already existing governmental Administration in Venezuela would be facing off against another hostile, foreign supported, parallel “alternative” Administration, CARICOM has decided to hold itself above the fray and to try to facilitate a process of dialogue and of a search for a peaceful solution within the confines of the Constitution of Venezuela and the fundamental principles of International Law.
“Thus, in everything that it has done so far on this issue, CARICOM has appeared to be “the adult in the room” and the moral and intellectual leader of the international community!
“Surely, this is CARICOM’s finest hour, and all citizens of our Community should feel extremely proud of how well our leaders have acquitted themselves.
Let us hope that their efforts go on to bear fruit in the form of an externally facilitated, but internally negotiated, agreed upon, and implemented peaceful and lawful solution to the crisis.”