(SNO) — Leader of the parliamentary opposition and the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Philip J. Pierre, has said the party is “very concerned” about the situation in Venezuela but it hasn’t changed its stance on the political and economic crisis in the South American country.
Pierre said the SLP is against direct foreign intervention and the appointment of an interim president.
“The Saint Lucia Labour Party is very concerned about the ongoing situation and supports the position taken by the Caricom Heads of Government as communicated in their letter dated 31 January 2019 to the Secretary General of the OAS. The letter stated that Caricom had not agreed to ‘recognising the President of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Juan Guaidó as Interim President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’,” Pierre wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.
He added: “We reiterate our position that the people of Venezuela should be allowed to solve their own problems without foreign intervention.”
Pierre went on to reveal via Facebook that outgoing Venezuelan Ambassador Leiff Escalona visited him Friday morning to discuss the situation in Venezuela.
Meanwhile, the Allen Chastanet-led Saint Lucia government is one of just three members of the Lima Group which has decided not to support the group’s position on recognizing Venezuela’s opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as interim president.
The group, which consists of Latin America, some Caribbean countries and Canada, had met in Canada to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela.
In a declaration, the group urged the Venezuelan military to support Guaidó. However, three members of the group – Guyana, Mexico and Saint Lucia – did not back it.
Saint Lucia has already made it clear that it does not support the second term of President Nicholas Maduro and has called for fresh election in the Spanish-speaking country.
In a statement, 11 of the 14-member group called for a peaceful political and diplomatic transition to the problem without force.
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatamala, Hondurus, Panama, Paraguay and Peru supported the position on recognizing Guiado.
The crisis in Venezuela came to a boiling point when Maduro was recently sworn in for a second term as Venezuela’s president, despite international criticism that his re-election is illegitimate.
The May 2018 polls, which Maduro said he won, were marred by an opposition boycott and vote-rigging claims.
The situation deteriorated when Guaidó declared himself interim president and was recognized by a number of countries around the world including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
However, Maduro retained the support of a small, but powerful, group of countries including Russia, Cuba, China and Turkey.