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(Jamaica Observer) Chairman of CARICOM, Dr Keith Mitchell, has warned his colleagues against allowing 'suspicions' to lead to 'inaction' over the political crisis in Venezuela which provides many countries in the region get oil on special payment plans.

"We must find the resolve to commit to a unified position on the current political challenge in the neighboring Venezuela. We cannot ignore what is taking place in a country in which all our member states have strong historic ties. And one which countries such as Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago,and Guyana share maritime boundaries and borders," said Mitchell at last night's opening ceremony of the conference of heads of government in Grenada.

He argued that getting to a unified position must recognise principles such as non-interference but the realities in the socialist country "combined with our international record of standing up for political order, democracy and respect for human rights ought to inspire us to arrive at that clear stance."

Mitchell said he understood the concerns given the "shared history of anti-colonial struggle" and "whispers of regime change" which he added should make the region pause. "But pause must not result in paralysis. Our inaction must not be a consequence of our suspicion."

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