Editorial StaffJuly 6, 2023
Remove sanctions against Venezuela and Cuba–Caricom leaders
Caricom leaders have pushed the US to ease sanctions against Venezuela once more.
Caricom Chairman and Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit stated that leaders have also asked for the US blockade on Cuba to be abolished and assistance to be provided to crisis-hit Haiti.
Skerrit remarked at a news conference marking the end of the 45th Caricom Heads of Government summit yesterday night at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain that the region’s leaders feel that after so many years, the US must act to lift sanctions against Venezuela.
“We in the Caribbean, especially those of us who have been signatories and beneficiaries of the PetroCaribe agreement, have suffered immensely,” he said, noting that Caribbean citizens must bear the high cost of petrol products on the global market because Venezuela is unable to export its products to the region due to US sanctions.
He claimed that Venezuela’s inability to export had effectively brought the PetroCaribe accord to a standstill in some Caricom members.
“We believe that the issue of sanctions should be removed and people should be allowed to go about their lives, especially in these difficult times,” he stated.
Skerrit stated that everyone else in the Caribbean should be steadfast in their opposition to the lifting of US sanctions on Venezuela.
He stated that the US will take note of these requests and proposals.
When asked if there had been any talks about Trinidad and Tobago’s Dragon gas deal with Venezuela, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said, “We didn’t get down to that level of specificity, but what you should understand is that we are, at the moment, engaged with the US in a way that we have not before, and that is the first hurdle that we have to cross, and we make our case and we continue to make them.”
Lift the embargo on Cuba.
Skerrit summarized the Caricom leaders’ deliberations over the previous two days.
He also stated that they discussed the US embargo against Cuba with the US, and that “we reiterated our call to the United States to have this blockade against Cuba lifted.”