(Trinidad Guardian) Tensions over the political collapse of Venezuela are continuing to rise after the countries of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) distanced themselves from the Organisation of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Leonardo Almagro and his support of Venezuelan Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó.
Caricom has maintained a stance of non-interference and has not picked a side in the clash between ousted leader Nicolas Maduro or Guaido.
The member states of Caricom said that Almagro spoke in support of Guaido on the OAS platform but did not have the authorisation of the OAS.
Minister of National Security Stuart Young on Saturday said he was “stunned” that Almagro, as a public servant at the OAS would “step so far out of his crease” to make a public statement in the Maduro/Guaido clash.
Young confirmed that Caricom sent a letter to Almagro demanding that he clarify that his position is his own and not that of the entire OAS.
“The position that he came out quite boldly and gave earlier last week or the week before, that needed to be clarified that that is not the position of the OAS and there was no consultation with the members of the OAS before that was articulated,” Young said.
“This was quite stunning as an observer,” Young said.
He said that he was proud to be a member of Caricom
“The Caricom membership is leading the international conversation once again and doing what is right and as members of the OAS saying listen, you cannot use the office that you hold so go and clarify that that is your individual position, “ Young said.
The Caricom letter that Young referred to the OAS on January 31 by the chairman of Caricom and Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Timothy Harris. Harris in the letter said the Caricom members met and determined that the OAS does not speak for them or with them on this issue.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley represented the country at that meeting to discuss the Caricom position on the Venezuelan crisis.
In the letter, Harris referenced the meeting with Caricom heads on January 24, 2019, and called on the OAS to “clarify” that it does not speak for the Caricom countries.
“The Heads of Government consider it imperative that you publicly clarify that you did not speak on behalf of all the member states of the Organisation of American States,” Harris said.
“We are aware that this is not the only occasion on which you have made public utterances in the name of the organisation without authority,” he said.
The Caricom described Almagro actions as a “clear departure of from normal practice and cause for great concern,” Harris said.
The OAS website lists media and press releases for the month of January and there is nothing about the OAS’s support for Guaido.
However, on Twitter, Almagro is vocal about the support of Guaido over Maduro even calling Maduro a dictator and calling for the support of fair elections.