Minister with responsibility for External Affairs, Honourable Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, confirmed that Saint Lucia recently voted in favour of accepting the appointment of Mr. Gustavo Tarre as the National Assembly of Venezuela’s designated permanent representative to the Organization of American States, this pending new elections and the appointment of a democratically elected government. Saint Lucia has been on the record as stating that the National Assembly is the only democratic institution presently in Venezuela.
While Saint Lucia continues to advocate for a peaceful, democratic and Venezuelan-owned solution to the crisis that grips that country – a solution that includes dialogue and excludes the use of force, and one that includes the holding of free, transparent and credible elections – the government is concerned that the regime in Venezuela continues to stifle democracy. The recent effort to “disqualify” the President of the National Assembly from holding public office for 15 years – this without regard to due process – is an example cited of the lack of an open and transparent judicial process.
“We should not be quiet to unconstitutional efforts to maintain an illegitimate grip on power – despite the loud clamouring of a country’s people and the international community for new and open elections. Importantly, the government is concerned that the people of Venezuela will be denied the access to the protections of the Inter-American system if that country is to depart the OAS,” stated Minister Sarah Flood-Beaubrun.
While the Government of Saint Lucia’s position is that there must always be an openness to dialogue, we lament is that the regime in Caracas has chosen to ignore all serious efforts at outreach, including those by the Caribbean. There is particular concern at the increase of external actors being welcomed into the region’s zone of peace
According to the Department of External Affairs, the OAS vote highlights that taking a stance in support of the people of Venezuela is important and inaction is not an option for Saint Lucia within international fora. Saint Lucia’s recent vote at the OAS carries the message that Saint Lucia will not be complicit in efforts by regimes to keep their people repressed.