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Golding slams Gonsalves over Venezuela crisis

The trinidad Guardian / Former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has criticised the positions advanced by two regional political leaders on the issue of taking a position on democracy in Venezuela, a report in the Jamaica Gleaner yesterday stated.

“It can’t be support for Venezuela absolutely because they’ve been good to us. Venezuela has been good to us, but the government of Venezuela has proceeded in a direction that we cannot condone,” Golding told the Gleaner.

Golding, who was the prime minister of Jamaica between 2007 and 2011, said: “I think that this argument that is being advanced by Dr Ralph Gonsalves (prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines) and the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, about non-interference, is foolishness. And, I say it’s foolishness because the same argument could have been advanced for apartheid South Africa”

Dozens of people have died in recent months in violence related to anti-government protests in Venezuela that is battling deepening economic and political turmoil. A recall referendum for President Nicolas Maduro, as well as elections for state governors in 2016, were suspended.

Maduro has alleged that the United States has been trying to destabilise the socialist country.

The OAS, a grouping of 35 independent countries of the Americas, including Venezuela, has been working on an approach to respond to the situation, but perceived US influence over the organisation has proved unsettling for Maduro and seemingly for some Caricom members.

Golding said he supports T&T Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s call for OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro to be removed.

He said: “I think he has compromised himself and he’s in danger now of comprising the OAS.”

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