T&T will stay out Venezuela dispute - Rowley

Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley has re­it­er­at­ed that any in­ter­fer­ence in Venezuela af­fairs is “il­le­gal” and this coun­try will con­tin­ue to take stance of “non-in­ter­fer­ence” in the Venezue­lan pres­i­den­tial im­passe.

“Non-in­ter­ven­tion is what coun­tries should fol­low, ex­cept of course un­der ex­ten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances where the UN comes in and we all as world na­tions can au­tho­rise the Unit­ed Na­tions to in­ter­vene on be­half of per­sons who may not be able to look af­ter them­selves,” Row­ley said dur­ing a Peo­ple’s Na­tion­al Move­ment cot­tage meet­ing in Ma­son Hall, To­ba­go, on Tues­day night.

He made the com­ment as he again ad­dressed the cur­rent im­passe that has de­vel­oped be­tween in­cum­bent Venezuela Pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro and Na­tion­al As­sem­bly leader Juan Guai­do, who has ap­point­ed him­self in­ter­im pres­i­dent.

Row­ley al­so made the com­ment against the back­drop of crit­i­cism from deputy Na­tion­al As­sem­bly leader Car­los En­rique Valero of T&T non-in­ter­ven­tion stance. Valero has ac­cused Row­ley’s and his Gov­ern­ment of be­ing an “ac­com­plice of Nico­las Maduro” by sup­port­ing a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion as op­posed to in­ter­ven­tion.

How­ev­er, Row­ley re­mind­ed his sup­port­ers that the peo­ple of Venezuela chose the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic mod­el cur­rent­ly ex­ist­ing.

“When Pres­i­dent Chavez brought that eco­nom­ic mod­el to the peo­ple of Venezuela he had 71 per cent of the sup­port of the peo­ple, that is the eco­nom­ic mod­el they choose for them­selves,” he told sup­port­ers.

He said if the mod­el is fail­ing now, or made to fail that is a mat­ter that on­ly Venezue­lans can fix.

Al­though Row­ley said he knows “Maduro is the Pres­i­dent of Venezuela,” he said Trinidad and To­ba­go does not deal with per­son­al­i­ties but the mat­ter of sov­er­eign states. As a coun­try, he said Trinidad and To­ba­go will main­tain a neu­tral po­si­tion to en­sure that the UN fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple of non-in­ter­fer­ence is not squan­dered for po­lit­i­cal or oth­er gains

“If you say that any­body who could do it should be al­lowed to do it, what is to pro­tect St. Kitts and Nevis? What is to pro­tect Trinidad and To­ba­go? What is to pro­tect the Mal­dives?” he asked.

- by Loyse Vincent

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