“The quickly-changing positions adopted by Saint Lucia and the Mar-a-Lago Caribbean quintet are not going unnoticed in Caracas, where President Nicolas Maduro last weekend again called for activation of the Montevideo Mechanism (involving Uruguay, Mexico and CARICOM) in search of a peaceful solution and indicating his administration’s clear willingness to engage with all contending political forces.”
Energized by the failure of the Mueller Report to prove he colluded with Russia to win the White House, President Donald Trump is in steaming hot pursuit of presidential vengeance — in backlash mode and fully on the attack.
The Commander in Chief of US Armed Forces is also more quickly circling the wagons around Venezuela.
The war wagons are already assembled on Venezuela’s borders and the US Vice President this week upped the stakes by taking America’s anti-Maduro charge to the UN Security Council.
The Russian Ambassador’s immediate response left no doubt that Moscow will not stand aside and let Venezuela be treated ‘like a banana republic’.
President Trump also took the unprecedented step this week of declaring Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as ‘a terrorist organization’, resulting in a reciprocal declaration by Tehran against American forces in the Middle East.
Washington also quickly returned to use of bellicose language against North Korea, the US Secretary of State calling the DPRK President a ‘tyrant’ and ‘a dictator’ — and announcing US sanctions will resume.
The US President has also stated his intention to impose US $11 Billion worth of more sanctions against EU states and threatened to punish Turkey if it buys arms from Russia, while playing hardball with Mexico and announcing new threats against Cuba.
Interestingly, the states Washington lashed out against this week, including the EU, are all against military intervention in Venezuela.
China, Russia, Iran, Turkey, North Korea and Cuba have made clear their positions of readiness to defend Venezuela should it be attacked.
However, not all South American nations support direct interventionist, with the likes of Mexico making it clear their territories will not be used to facilitate direct US military aggression against Venezuela.
Images of the ongoing consequences of US and other external interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria still linger on the minds of many leaders worldwide.
The unbearable humanitarian crisis also continuing to unfold in Yemen — with heavy external involvement supported by the US, UK, Saudi Arabia and others – also worries many.
Memories of Washington’s failure to deliver on promises made by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 to Caribbean nations in return for support for the US invasion of Grenada still haunt today’s CARICOM leaders, many of who now take neutral positions on Venezuela for fear of angering President Trump and earning his deadly wrath.
Against that landscape, Washington eagerly seeks to enlist more Caribbean wagons to widen the encirclement and isolate Venezuela ahead of the final charge.
Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia (whose leaders met Trump at Mar-a-Lago) are at different stages in keeping Venezuela at bay regarding the status of diplomatic ties.
Jamaica has ‘temporarily’ closed the Venezuelan Embassy in Kingston, while new ambassadors appointed by Caracas to The Bahamas and Saint Lucia are still waiting to present their diplomatic credentials.
The quickly-changing positions adopted by Saint Lucia and the Mar-a-Lago Caribbean quintet is not going unnoticed in Caracas, where President Nicolas Maduro last weekend again called for activation of the Montevideo Mechanism (involving Uruguay, Mexico and CARICOM) in search of a peaceful solution and indicating his administration’s clear willingness to engage with all contending political forces.
The deepening division within CARICOM and its continued exploitation by Washington will definitely be ratcheted-up in the days and weeks ahead, as the war mongers in Washington press for confrontation instead of the peaceful dialogue necessary to prevent what could ultimately result in the start of a costly Third World War.
Bent on achieving regime change in Venezuela by any and whatever means possible, President Trump is ‘keeping the military option on the table’ while increasing the pace and ferocity of US sanctions that continue to bite Venezuelans even harder, especially following Washington’s recent appropriation of more than US $80 Billion worth of Venezuela’s financial assets in the US and elsewhere.
Since January, some Caribbean nations that once stoutly defended foreign policy principles of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of nations at both CARICOM and OAS levels (the Mar-a-Lago quintet among them) have now opted to individually support Washington’s policy of directly attacking Venezuela’s sovereignty.
Saint Lucia, a member of the Lima Group (which essentially implements Washington’s Venezuela agenda in the region), earlier took more quiet positions on Venezuela, using careful language to avoid being labelled anti-Caracas.
But Castries has so far this year moved much closer to implementing the Lima Group’s political and diplomatic agenda at home.
Saint Lucia and the other four Mar-a-Lago invitees earlier this week voted at the OAS to support Washington’s call for replacement of the official Venezuelan Ambassador to the regional body, sending red-flag signals to Caracas about the future of current Venezuelan diplomats in the respective Caribbean countries.
Saint Lucia will take over the Chairmanship of CARICOM when it hosts the upcoming July 3-5, 2019 annual summit — some time away, when measured against the pace of the circling of the wagons.
Until then, it can be expected that the Lima Group will anxiously expect to eventually gain even more traction within the regional grouping from a fully loyal member holding the chairmanship of CARICOM – and for a full year thereafter.
The alarm bells are now definitely and deafeningly tolling that much louder for Venezuela.
Time will tell surely — sooner than later — where Saint Lucia and other CARICOM member states’ wagons will be hitched to, together or alone, when the US Commander in Chief gives the final order.
Meanwhile, the dark clouds and smoke signals continue being replaced by loud beats of thundering drums of war, as Washington continues to feverishly enlist more Caribbean wagons for the final charge on Venezuela.