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Rigobert: Stay neutral

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Rigobert: Stay neutral

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) – St Lucia’s Opposition Leader Dr Gale Rigobert is calling on Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to remain “neutral” in the ongoing political disturbances in Venezuela where the opposition have been staging anti-government demonstrations to force the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro.
Rigobert, speaking on the Observer Radio here, said that she does not believe that the regional countries should at this time get involved in “what is happening in Venezuela.
“There is a legitimately elected government and I appreciate the difference that can merge out of a reading based on what positioning with respect to the situation.
“There is an insider/outsider perspective, there is a pro Maduro and anti Maduro reading of the situation. So until such time as one is really conversant with the intricacies of the situation…I think there needs to be a closer examination of the full spectrum of issues before we become involved in that sense,” said Rigobert, a former lecturer in International Relations at the University of the West Indies (UWI).
CARICOM has already expressed concern about the confrontations that have taken place in Caracas where at least 17 people have died.
In a statement deploring the deaths, the regional body called for respect of the democratically elected government.
“In all democracies, citizens have the right to air their views and differences, however, this must be done within the constitutional framework and not through violent demonstrations. No democratic society can reasonably pursue disorder or any unwarranted subversion of democratic institutions,” said CARICOM, calling on all parties to take the necessary steps to refrain from any further action that would hinder a peaceful resolution of the differences and a return to peace and calm in the country.
Maduro has said that the protests are part of a United States-backed coup plot and has called for an end to the protests.