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PM URGES CARICOM NOT TO ATTEND SUMMIT OF THE AMERICAS IF CUBA & VENEZUELA NOT INVITED

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It is the view of the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, that until there is the inclusion of everyone in the Americas, CARICOM ought not to go to the Summit of the Americas.

St Vincent and the Grenadines is urging its CARICOM colleagues not to attend unless it’s inclusive. The prime minister says he wrote letters to the Chairman of CARICOM, John Briceno, as well as one to the Secretary-General of CARICOM on the subject of the upcoming Summit of the Americas.

He notes in Belize in early March, there was a reported consensus that CARICOM had concluded if Cuba was not invited to the Summit of the Americas, and if Guaido was invited to represent Venezuela, that CARICOM would not attend.

Gonsalves says he thought that had gone into the communique, but it did not, but it was reported publicly by the Chairman, his Foreign Minister and confirmed in private discussions internally in CARICOM, that there was consensus to that effect.

“I was fine with that particular consensus.” He says Nicaragua was not mentioned but the same issue is at stake.

The Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines believes the invitation to the Summit of the Americas should be inclusive and not exclusive.

A second position he pointed out in the correspondence is that the USA as the host, cannot unilaterally decide who to invite and who not to invite.

Gonsalves notes the US has been spending time sending emissaries and keeping in touch with Heads of Government, seeking to persuade them to attend despite the fact that Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua are not being invited.

“I don’t see any basis for us to change from what the consensus was. I know that the matter in the minds of some persons has become more complicated because the US recently rolled back unilaterally some of the more egregious follies of the Trump era.”

However, Gonsalves does not believe that those initiatives constitute a genuine thawing of relations.

“We are now in the year 2022, why are we so consumed about all these battles… some old battles from the loth century. There are so many challenges to talk about in our hemisphere… we want to exclude people? How does that make sense?”

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