(Jamaica Gleaner) Jamaica's decision to participate in discussions at the Organisation of American States (OAS) - whose general assembly starts today - over the Venezuela situation is "correct", former Prime Minister Bruce Golding has said, as he chides opposing CARICOM leaders for their "foolish" position.
"It can't be support for Venezuela absolutely because they've been good to us," Golding told The Gleaner. "Venezuela has been good to us, but the government of Venezuela has proceeded in a direction that we cannot condone."
"I think that this argument that is being advanced by Dr Ralph Gonsalves (prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines) and the prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, about non-interference, is foolishness. And, I say it's foolishness because the same argument could have been advanced for apartheid South Africa - 'Why are you interfering in our domestic affairs?' And, we (Jamaica) jolly well had to interfere."
Dozens of people have died in recent months in violence related to anti-government protests in Venezuela that is battling deepening economic and political turmoil. A recall referendum for President Nicol·s Maduro, as well as elections for state governors in 2016, suspended.
The situation worsened in March when the Supreme Court, though temporarily, stripped the Parliament of its powers and transferred that authority to the court.