Govt. hopes for swift resolution for Venezuelan people
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – As embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro invokes constitutional provisions to assert himself as the country’s legitimate leader over self-declared interim president Juan Guaido, the government of The Bahamas has maintained that its decision to support Guaido is consistent with previous votes relating to the now politically-torn country.
Guaido, who declared he had a constitutional right to be president as head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly in January, has the support of the United States of America, as well as most South American and European nations.
In a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online, Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield was asked about the implications of the vote.
“We have voted consistently since coming to office in 2017, relative to situations in Venezuela and we are not going to speak anymore publicly to it,” Henfield said.
“We are going to stand by the statement we put out for now.”
When pressed about concerns The Bahamas’ vote may have been influenced by foreign pressure, the minister shot down the suggestion.
“The Bahamas is a sovereign nation, which acts in the interest of the Bahamian people, and that’s as much as I’ll say on that.
“In Venezuela, you understand there is a humanitarian crisis?
“We’re also a member now of the Human Rights Council.
“People are leaving by the millions. There is no food.
“The socio-economic environment is now far less than it ought to be and there is chaos.
“And so, it is a very untenable situation and we hope it resolves very quickly for the benefit of the Venezuelan people.
According to Associated Press, Venezuela’s chief prosecutor has launched an investigation into Guaido’s appointment of a transitional board of directors for the state oil company Wednesday, calling the appointments an illegal power gran backed by foreign governments.
Attorney General Tarek William Saab said yesterday that members of Guaido’s self-declared interim government will be investigated as part of the probe.
He said there will be “legal consequences”.
In its January statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas wishes to inform that, at a special meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) held on 24 January 2019 to address the critical ongoing political crisis in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, The Bahamas was among those countries of the organization recognizing Juan Guaido, president of the National Assembly, as interim president,” the ministry said in a statement.
“This decision is consistent with The Bahamas’ affirmative voting on previous resolutions and calls for discussions within the OAS regarding the situation in Venezuela, including the 10 January 2019 resolution to not recognize the legitimacy of Nicolas Maduro’s presidency.
“Venezuela’s constitution includes provisions that call upon the citizenry to disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values, principles and guarantees or encroaches upon human rights.
The economic collapse that Venezuela has been faced with has created a humanitarian crisis and forced millions to leave the country.
Guaido has said he will attempt to run caravans of U.S. humanitarian aid across the Columbian border in Venezuela with the U.S. and other countries saying they will send supplies through Brazil and Curacao, a Caribbean island.
But Maduro has blocked the emergency supplies, including food and medicine, from entering the country. He has labelled the intervention as part of a U.S. coup attempt.