AS Heads of Government of the 15-member Caribbean Community begin their 36th regular annual meeting with a ceremonial opening this evening at the Barbados Hilton, new and significant initiatives were underway in Caracas to diffuse the new conflict that has arisen in Venezuela-Guyana old territorial dispute.This pre-summit development centres around a significant statement which is expected to be made today by Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.
It is intended to “clarify” the origin of an earlier Presidential decree last month that unilaterally defined as part of Venezuela’s Atlantic Coast what has long been officially recognised as Guyana’s sovereign territory in the Atlantic ocean.
According to informed sources linked to officialdom in Caracas, it seems that the original draft ‘decree’ was intended for “internal official briefing” prior to being issued for public attention in Venezuela and internationally.
Strangely, however, it was made public in its original format, as an official ‘Presidential’ decree.
This significant “clarification” development is expected to coincide with a visit this evening by President Maduro as an invited guest for the CARICOM Summit who had attended previous meetings of the Community which is part of the wider Community of Caribbean and Central American states (CELAC).
While here, President Maduro is expected to engage in bilateral talks with Guyana’s new President, David Granger, as well as with Barbados’ Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart, who is the current chairman of CARICOM.
There are CARICOM leaders who are also keen on discussing with President Maduro the need for improved official relations between Washington and Caracas in the wider interest in hemispheric peace and development.
By Rickey Singh- in Bridgetown