T&T abstains in OAS vote encouraging humanitarian aid in Venezuela

Trinidad and Tobago has abstained from yet another vote taken by the Organisation of American States (OAS) related to Venezuela.

The Permanent Council of the OAS approved on Wednesday the resolution - "Humanitarian Assistance in Venezuela” - encouraging member states, permanent observers, and the competent international organizations “to continue providing support and implementing measures to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.”

The document also urged Venezuelan public institutions especially the military and police establishments, “to refrain from blocking the entry of humanitarian aid into Venezuela, duly respecting the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and operational independence of humanitarian assistance, as well as respect for human rights.”

T&T was among 8 countries that abstained when the resolution was put to a vote.

The resolution was approved with 19 votes in favor (Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, United States, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, and Saint Lucia), 5 votes against (Antigua and Barbuda, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Uruguay and Venezuela), 8 abstentions (Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, El Salvador, Mexico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) and two absent countries (Dominica and Grenada).

The resolution underscored “that Venezuela’s closure of its borders with Brazil and Colombia has in fact prevented the population, especially the most vulnerable, from obtaining food, medicines, medical treatment, and educational opportunities“ and concern over the collapse of Venezuela’s health care system, ”which has led to the reappearance of infectious diseases previously eradicated in Venezuela as well as in bordering countries and in the region.

Trinidad and Tobago had also abstained in an OAS vote taken on June 5, 2018, to oust Venezuela from the organisation.

That resolution was also passed by the 34-member group.

T&T's diplomats have also recently taken the decision to abstain from other major international votes.

Last December, T&T abstained from a United Nation's resolution denouncing the United State’s decision to move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


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