A major United States Black group has applauded the heads of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), who, at their recent summit in Grenada, discussed the serious challenges facing Venezuela and its people, and offered to facilitate a dialogue between the Government and the Opposition.
The New York-based Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) on Saturday said it was “very concerned about reports of racist violence by right-wing, anti-Government forces targeting members of the Afro-Venezuelan community.”
IBW also called on the US Congressional Black Caucus to investigate these reports and to support Caricom’s position by demanding that the Trump Administration “cease and desist interfering in Venezuela’s domestic affairs, and in undermining its national sovereignty”.
Additionally, the IBW condemned recent efforts by Organization of American States’ (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro and a “small group of powerful states in the OAS who are relentlessly attacking the Venezuelan Government, openly supporting the Opposition forces, and are attempting to divide and weaken the solidarity of the 15 Caricom member states of the OAS on their stance towards the crisis in Venezuela”.
Furthermore, IBW said it supports the position of the prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, “who continues to consistently uphold Article 15 of the OAS Charter, which says that ‘no state, or group of states, has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state’”.
The OAS Charter says “this principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.”
The IBW also urged Caricom countries to “resist pressure from Washington and from the OAS, and continue to stand firm in their united and principled position concerning the crisis in Venezuela”.
In a statement contained in a communique at the conclusion of the 38th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of Caricom, held in Grenada earlier this month, Caricom leaders “reaffirmed their guiding principles of adherence to the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy, as well as for the fundamental principles of non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of states”.