The Commission of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States has paid tribute to outgoing Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela accredited to the OECS H.E. Mrs. Leiff Escalona Barrueta.
The Ambassador who presented her diplomatic credentials to the OECS on the 6th June 2013 will depart Saint Lucia on Monday 15th April after more than five years of advancing mutual interests within the region.
Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules said Ambassador Escalona’s tenure was one defined by immeasurable service to OECS Member States principally in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“In our darkest hours and days following the passage of the destructive storms, our nations’ global cry for help was promptly met by Venezuela who worked side by side with our own disaster relief agencies,” said Dr. Jules.
“A team of more than forty Venezuelan medics, paramedics and rescue specialists were able to deliver medicine, food, water and humanitarian aid from Venezuela, the State of Palestine and other Caribbean islands and nations.
“Thirteen doctors were able to work in Dominica across eight different communities and, in ten days, they were able to attend to over 2000 people including babies, women, the elderly and infirm.
“In those darkest of days, Ambassador Escalona validated Venezuela’s concern for a common humanity in the face of stretched resources – coordinating vital emergency relief and supplies – which without, would have resulted in more casualties.
“Disasters transcend people, partisan positions and alliances and on behalf of our own humanity we say thank you.
“The baby that was saved from floodwaters, the sick grandmother airlifted out, the traumatised children comforted, the injured sent to safety – we salute and honour the compassion, civility and the respect shown by Venezuela to the OECS without exception or equivocation,” said Dr. Jules.
The OECS Commission celebrated Ambassador Escalona’s service on Tuesday 9th April with a three course farewell lunch prepared and served by Hospitality students from Sir Arthur Lewis College. OECS Commission staff and Ambassador Escalona thanked and noted the professionalism of the students in delivering an outstanding culinary experience.