CARICOM supporting Venezuela's Maduro administration

CARICOM Foreign Ministers who met in Barbados on Thursday, have thrown their support behind the government of  Venezuela over what is seen as an attempt to unseat the Nicholas Maduro administration.
Venezuela has been hit by violent protests since early April, that have left at least 34 people dead and hundreds injured, as the opposition ramps up pressure on President Maduro to call overdue elections.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves last week complained that CARICOM was allowing a small group of powerful nations within the OAS, to divide regional states in a bid to overthrow the Venezuelan government.
But at Thursday's meeting of CARICOM's Council of Foreign and Community Relations, outgoing chairman Sir Louis Straker declared that the grouping is firmly in Venezuela's corner.
"There are those who want to impose their will and stir up strife in Venezuela and we will not support that kind of thing and no amount of pressure can be brought on St. Vincent of the Grenadines or on CARICOM," he proclaimed, noting that "Venezuela has been very good to the Caribbean" in terms of bilateral partnerships and deals, such as the PetroCaribe programme.

Jamaica is being represented at the meeting by Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Kamina Johnson Smith.

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