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Protest near US Embassy in support of President Nicolas Maduro

Members of the Friends of Venezuela Solidarity Committee stood along the roadside in Wildey, holding placards protesting against Juan Guaido’s declaring himself president.

The were also protesting against what the called the undemocratic approach of the United States.

Standing s short distance away from the United States Embassy, the group led by secretary general David Denny; attorney-at-law Lalu Hanum, who is the chair of the Barbados Bar Association’s Human Right’s Committee; public relations officer of the Pan African Coalition of Organisation, John Howell; and University of West Indies political science lecturer Dr Tennyson Joseph.

Speaking with Barbados TODAY about the peaceful demonstration, Denny said the group applauded the non-interventionist and non-interference stance by the CARICOM Heads of Government, to maintain the region as a zone of peace.

He said that the group only recognized President Nicolas Maduro as head of state as he was democratically elected with 67.8 per cent of votes cast in the last election.

Denny said the demonstration should serve as a warning to countries such as the United States, Canada, Germany, Spain and France, who have disregarded the Venezuelan electoral system and supported Guaido as the president of Venezuela.

“We want to let the western countries know that there are people in the Caribbean region that will continue to fight against war that will continue to demand peace in our region because such a war would also affect Barbadian people, Caribbean people and we don’t want to create such problems for our region,” said Denny.

“The majority of people in Venezuela are in solidarity with the government and people of Venezuela,” he added.

Meanwhile, Joseph, lecturer in political science at UWI Cave Hill Campus, said the stance taken by the US was an attempt to rebuke alternatives to neoliberal forms of government and was an excuse to assert power.

“It is essentially a pretext to invasion. We do not take seriously at all to the claims they are making to the interim leader. It is really a pretext to invade the country and what it has done it has diminished the legitimacy of the electoral process not only in Venezuela but all over the world,” said Joseph.

“All they want is a context for war. Nobody takes serious [Guaido’s] claims about being an interim leader but it is to be taken seriously when you think about the number of countries that have actually stood up and say they recognize him and the context it has created for an internal invasion of the country . . . What Venezuela represents is an alternative to neoliberal forms of government and that is what this is about. They really want to crush that example because a country was not supposed to become socialist after the Soviet Union collapsed.”

Given Venezuela’s close ties with the Caribbean, Joseph said that the CARICOM states would not escape the aftershocks of the unrest in the South. He stressed that the Heads of Government need to exert their influence and let their voices be heard on this extremely concerning issue.

“We don’t take this war as something that is distant or not germane to our very existence
We support the CARICOM stance because our struggle here we recognize that the one thing we can do is to influence our governments … our governments have to take the proper stance on the international arena,” Joseph stated. (KK)

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