Jamaica continues to maintain cordial relations with Venezuela and has not accepted Juan Guiado as head or interim president of the South American country.
That was the position stated by Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith. Senator Johnson Smith who is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade was making a statement in the context of some questions about the country’s position regarding Venezuela, after developments in the week ending Saturday, April 13.
On Wednesday, the Organization of American States (OAS) accepted as Venezuela’s Ambassador to that body, a representative nominated by Juan Guiado.
More than 50 countries have accepted, Guiado, as the interim president of Venezuela. However, Senator Johnson Smith told the Senate Friday, April 12, that Jamaica has not accepted Mr. Guiado as president of Venezuela.
She said a resolution of the OAS was accepted to receive the representative nominated by Mr. Guiado. Mrs. Johnson Smith said this was to treat with an imminent gap in representation before the body, due to President Nicolas Maduro’s administration announcing the intention to shortly withdraw the country’s membership in the OAS.
She said the OAS voted to accept a representative, designated by Mr. Guaidó in his capacity as President of the National Assembly and not as interim President of Venezuela.
Senator Johnson Smith reiterated Jamaica’s commitment to supporting any meaningful effort towards a peaceful resolution to the political, social and economic crisis in Venezuela.
“We stand ready to participate in the search for a sustainable diplomatic solution to the crisis in that country – the people of Venezuela deserve no less,” she said.
Mrs. Johnson Smith noted that despite having to temporarily close the Jamaican Embassy in Caracas, Jamaica continues to maintain cordial relations and engagement with Venezuela.
Mrs. Johnson Smith informed that foreign ministers of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) recently engaged Juan Guaidó, and two of his representatives, who explained their positions on the humanitarian crisis, and the social and economic situation in the country, as well as the ultimate goal of having new elections at an early date.
“The engagement formed part of CARICOM’s efforts to bridge a divide,” she told the Senate.
CARICOM has been split over Venezuela. In the most recent OAS vote on the Guiado-nominated representative some members including Jamaica voted for, others against and others yet abstained.