Moses: Guaido provided new information

Monday, March 25, 2019 - 08:00

Gov­ern­ment is main­tain­ing its po­si­tion of non-in­ter­fer­ence in Venezue­lan af­fairs af­ter For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Den­nis Moses at­tend­ed a Cari­com meet­ing in Bar­ba­dos to par­tic­i­pate in a con­fer­ence call with Venezuela's self-de­clared in­ter­im pres­i­dent, Juan Guai­do.

Moses told the me­dia on Sun­day that he does not rule out talks with Venezue­lan pres­i­dent Nico­las Maduro. On Sat­ur­day, Moses at­tend­ed a pre­vi­ous­ly undis­closed meet­ing with oth­er re­gion­al For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ters in Bar­ba­dos and par­tic­i­pat­ed in the video call.

The meet­ing was fa­cil­i­tat­ed by Cana­da, ac­cord­ing to Cari­com.

He was back in the coun­try on Sun­day and at­tend­ed the open­ing of the mul­ti-mil­lion dol­lar Diego Mar­tin Sport­ing Com­plex with Prime Min­is­ter Dr Kei­th Row­ley.

Moses said that the Gov­ern­ment had not back­tracked on its pre­vi­ous hands-off po­si­tion as it re­lates to the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship of Venezuela, but said Guai­do's pre­sen­ta­tion con­tained new in­for­ma­tion.

"Yes, in a cer­tain quar­ter, cer­tain­ly," Moses said in re­sponse to ques­tions from the me­dia yes­ter­day.

His at­ten­dance at Sat­ur­day's meet­ing is now rais­ing ques­tions about whether the Gov­ern­ment has re­versed its pre­vi­ous­ly held pol­i­cy that it would not in­ter­fere in the so­cial, eco­nom­ic and po­lit­i­cal col­lapse of that coun­try. In­stead, Trinidad and To­ba­go has stayed neu­tral and of­fered the coun­try as a safe space for di­a­logue.

"It rep­re­sents but a con­tin­u­a­tion in ex­press­ing our im­par­tial po­si­tion that would have been nour­ished and nur­tured over the re­cent past and at least over the last two, three years and that al­lows us to have fur­ther talks with all the par­ties con­cerned and stake­hold­ers to this on­go­ing dif­fi­cul­ty in Venezuela," he said.

Com­ment­ing on the de­vel­op­ment, Princes Town Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Bar­ry Padarth on Sun­day weighed in on Moses' at­ten­dance at the Cari­com meet­ing on Sat­ur­day.

Padarath at­tend­ed the Phag­wa cel­e­bra­tions in Palmiste, San Fer­nan­do said: "By the Prime Min­is­ter's ac­tions he is tru­ly liv­ing in a fool's par­adise be­cause that rest of the world, start­ing with the Unit­ed States is start­ing to iso­late Trinidad and To­ba­go," he said.

"The Prime Min­is­ter has found him­self in a quandary and what he is try­ing to do is to back­track at this point and say we are talk­ing to every­one but the Gov­ern­ment has al­ready tak­en a po­si­tion," he said.

"You can­not say that you are tak­ing a po­si­tion where you are not tak­ing sides and then at the same time say­ing that you are sup­port­ing the gov­ern­ment of Maduro," he said.

A state­ment from Cari­com stat­ed the meet­ing was in keep­ing with a de­ci­sion of Cari­com Heads of Gov­ern­ment "to pro­vide good of­fices in fa­cil­i­tat­ing a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to the Venezuela cri­sis through a mean­ing­ful in­ter­nal process."

"Cari­com For­eign Min­is­ters ac­knowl­edged the meet­ing as a sig­nif­i­cant ini­tial step in a se­ries of po­ten­tial en­gage­ments that should un­fold by agreed mech­a­nisms, with­in the frame­work of the Con­sti­tu­tion of Venezuela and the rule of law. The meet­ing pro­vid­ed a greater un­der­stand­ing of Mr. Guai­do’s views and per­spec­tives on how to move for­ward in the search for peace­ful so­lu­tions, as well as his will­ing­ness to take part in mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sions. The par­tic­i­pants ac­cept­ed the ben­e­fit of fur­ther en­gage­ment," the state­ment added.

On Fri­day, the lead­ers of four Cari­com na­tions were host­ed by Unit­ed States Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. Those four na­tions sided with the US in its sup­port of Guai­do over Maduro.

At that meet­ing Trump promised fi­nan­cial in­vest­ments to the coun­tries that stood with him in his sup­port and recog­ni­tion of Guai­do as the elect­ed leader of Venezuela.

Row­ley de­nied that he was snubbed by Trump be­cause of his neu­tral stance on the un­fold­ing cri­sis in Venezuela.

- Renuka Singh