Guyana joins call for end of political crisis in Venezuela

first_img…PPP supports Govt’s positionAs the political and economic crisis continues to worsen in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Guyana has joined calls for an end to the impasse in the Spanish-speaking nation.In a statement from the Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday, the Guyana Government said it was gravely concerned at the deepening of the political crisis in Venezuela.The Government said it “supports calls made at both the regional and international levels for immediate dialogue involving all political and social actors, with a view to the preservation of the democratic process and a return to normalcy.”Furthermore, Guyana is calling on all parties in the neighbouring country to desist from actions that might lead to further violence and loss of lives.“The Government of Guyana remains firmly supportive of efforts to resolve the crisis through peaceful means and with full respect for human rights and the rule of law,” the Government added.PPP supportMeanwhile, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Opposition has also thrown its support behind the calls made by the coalition Government.At his weekly press conference on Thursday afternoon, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters that he had a briefing on the situation in the neighbouring country via a phone conversation earlier in the day with Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge, who is currently in Washington.“We don’t have all the details at this point, but I assured him that we don’t want to do anything right now that in a major way will be inconsistent with the Government’s action… We, at this time, would like to associate ourselves with [Government’s] statement,” Jagdeo said.In recent years, Venezuela has been experiencing worsening economic turmoil following the decline of oil prices on the world market. The country is now in its fifth consecutive year of recession with hyperinflation at an all-time high.Reports coming out of the Spanish-speaking State reveal that there are massive food shortages and limited access to basic health care and basic amenities such as electricity in certain parts. Additionally, there continue to be rampant outbursts of looting and violence across some of the most affected cities in the neighbouring country. These conditions have forced millions to flee the country, with thousands seeking refuge in Guyana.Meanwhile, there seems to be an international divide on the political situation in the South American nation, which has given birth to a parallel government, putting the nation into unchartered territory – with two presidents.Following snap elections in May 2018, Nicolás Maduro – who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013 into its worst economic freefall – was re-elected President for another six-year term. But the elections suffered widespread Opposition boycott and claims of rigging. However, attempts to challenge the polls by the Opposition were banned by the pro-Maduro Supreme Court. Hence, his assumption of office on January 10.The Venezuelan Constitution allows citizens to rebel against a Government that takes power from the legislative branch and gives the head of that branch the authority to become an interim president in the absence of an elected one. Hence, the recognition of Opposition Leader Juan Guaido as President.The 35-year-old declared himself acting leader on Wednesday, receiving the backing of a large number of countries such as the United States and Canada as well as a majority of Latin American and South American nations, including Venezuela’s neighbours Brazil and Colombia.While Guyana has steered clear of throwing support behind either side, the Organisation of American States (OAS) – of which Guyana is a member – has since recognised Guaido as the interim president.“Our congratulations to [Juan Guaido] as acting President of Venezuela,” OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro said in a tweet on Wednesday.However, the support of these countries for Guaido has resulted in Maduro – who still enjoys control over the courts, central bank and the military – breaking diplomatic ties with the US.In fact, soon after US President Donald Trump tweeted his formal recognition of Guaido as President of Venezuela on Wednesday, the socialist leader Maduro subsequently told a gathering outside the presidential palace in Caracas that he was giving US diplomats in the country 72 hours to leave Venezuela, accusing the North American nation of attempting to govern Venezuela from Washington.“We’ve had enough interventionism; here we have dignity, damn it! Here is a people willing to defend this land,” Maduro stated.last_img

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