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WASHINGTON – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it will no longer hold its annual meetings of the Boards of Governors in China after Beijing said it would not grant visas to the Venezuelan delegates nominated by Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself the interim president of the South American country.
The meetings were scheduled to be held in in Chengdu, People’s Republic of China, from March 28 to 31.
In a statement, the IDB said that management will “present its recommendations for the location and date of the 2019 Annual Meetings of the IDB within a period of 30 days”.
Earlier this month, the IDB announced that its governors had approved a resolution recognising the appointment of Ricardo Hausmann as IDB Governor for Venezuela.
In a separate vote, the Governors of Inter-American Investment Corporation, known as IDB Invest, the IDB Group’s private sector lending arm, also approved Hausmann’s appointment.
In a statement sent to all IDB member governors, the IDB said Friday that China had been asked to “provide an update on the issuance of visas to representatives of Venezuela”.
“The Director of China informed the Board that in keeping with China’s neutral stance on the situation in Venezuela, the government of China had informed the Bank that it would not issue visas to the representatives of either side of the Venezuelan conflict to attend the annual meetings in Chengdu,” the IDB statement said.
The statement said that the United States and several of its allies that are pushing to replace President Nicolas Maduro as President of Venezuela with Guaidó, later indicated that they would not attend the meeting if the new Venezuelan delegate is not granted a visa.
Caribbean countries on the IDB board of governors are the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago.
CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St Kitts and Nevis last month had reiterated their position of non-interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and said they were prepared to mediate in the process to bring about a peaceful resolution to the crisis.
Meanwhile, informed sources have told the Caribbean Media Corporation that Guaidó was due in Barbados on Saturday for a meeting of officials of the Lima Group that opposes Maduro. (CMC)